Vanda sp. pendant
Acclaimed South African sculptor and jeweller, Nic Bladen, is known for his intricate depictions of flowers, seedpods, leaves and entire plants. Nic's background in dental technology, fused with a knowledge of bronze casting, has enabled him to create a new way of preserving/fossilizing plants and flowers with unmatched delicacy and detail. The method he uses, known as 'lost wax casting', involves creating molds from actual organic material, and then transforming them into once-off pieces of jewellery or sculptures of entire plants, from root-tip to flowers. |
Nic's impetus is the recording of biodiversity, as he believes that his plant castings have a documentative value, in addition to being beautiful pieces of art. Living in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest yet richest floral kingdom in the world, Nic is uniquely positioned in efforts to draw attention to the plight of red data species.
"Tragically and unforgivably, one quarter of our plant species are now on the Red list. Over 10% face regional or global extinction if current trends continue, and 40 species of wildflower are known or suspected to be extinct.... Admire the technical and artistic excellence of these works, enjoy their beauty and reflect on the organisms that inspired them, but do not for one moment take them for the real thing - those cannot be recreated."
(extract from the introduction to the 'Rare' catalogue)
Dr John Manning
Compton Herbarium, South African National Biodiversity Institute
Upcoming exhibitions:Nic Bladen will be having his first solo exhibition in late October 2013, at the Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town.
Work currently on display:
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