“…even at this unfavourable (dry) season…”

7 October 2017 

The title of Nic’s third solo exhibition, held at Everard Read & Circa (Johannesburg) in late 2017, is attributed to William J. Burchell, one of the ‘immortals’ of Cape botany, in about 1810.

Referencing the floral abundance and diversity encountered even during severe drought, Nic’s latest body of work depicts the tenacity of Cape flora to tolerate this dryness and the splendour with which it does so. 

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“…even at this unfavourable [dry] season…”
A diary entrance after a walk up Lion’s Head.
-    William John Burchell 1781 – 1863

The Cape Floral Kingdom is the ecological jewel of South Africa. Over 10 000 species of plants eking out a living on minerally depauperate gravel crammed together in a minute area on the Southern tip of Africa.

Delicate ephemerals, heavily spinaceous shrubs and hard leaved members of the ericeae and proteaceae exhibit a bewildering array of adaptations to accommodate the desiccating winds of a long dry summer.

Seeds of many contain a sweet gift for ants that carry them to subterranean nests where they remain dormant until the chemistry from a cleansing fire permeates the soil triggering a profusion of growth that has delighted plant lovers and botanists for centuries.

Nic Bladen is the world’s finest botanical sculptor working today. With this collection of bronzes, all unique casts, Nic has celebrated the subtle and diverse beauty of the plants that grace his native Western Cape. We are all the more sensitized to their extraordinary beauty due to the indications that their home will be one of the globe’s most affected regions by climate change.

Mark Read

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