Monday, November 18, 2013

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project

2014 Cheng Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project
“Fishing for a Better Environment”

Artists from all countries are invited to send a proposal for a site-specific outdoor sculpture installation that will celebrate the seafood producers and fishermen of Cheng Long area and raise awareness about environmental issues relating to seafood production, the main livelihood of Cheng Long residents.  The artworks will be created during a 25-day artist in residency in Cheng Long, a small rural village near the southwestern coast of Taiwan in Kouhu Township,Yunlin County.

Deadline for Entries: January 18, 2014
Artists will be selected and notified by February 17, 2014

Installation and Residency in Cheng Long, Kouhu Township, Taiwan:
April 10 (artists arrive) – May 5, 2014 (artists depart)

Dates of the Exhibition:
May 2, 2014 (opening ceremony), May 3 and 4 – Opening weekend activities with the artists.  The exhibition will stay on display through 2015, and we hope the artworks can continue to be enjoyed into the next year.

For more information, photos from previous residency projects, and application forms:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jesse Etelson: 2013 AHN Awardee

Jesse Etelson is an environmental artist, activist and educator and I am intrigued with his wildlife habitat sculptures. Here is some of his work that caught my attention - including a tree sculpture and clay bird houses:

“I believe art’s role is to assist in the reconnection of humans to the earth, each other and the infinite possibilities of the cosmos. Today we must return to a natural harmony with the planet or face extinction. With arts collaboration, science and education can engage community to create alternative/intuitive solutions for healing environmental and social illness.” – Jesse Etelson 

From the Arts & Healing Network. Jesse is an Awardee for the 2013 AHN Awards. Click on the link to go read his interview with AHN, which gives some valuable insight into his creative process.

Also have a look at his website: for videos, more artwork and other information.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sustainable Seas Trust Photography Competition!

The Sustainable Seas Trust ‘Splendours of the South African Sea’ Photo Competition has been set up to encourage the public to get out and about on our country’s coastlines in order to capture what they believe makes our coastlines some of the best in the world and more importantly what we should be striving to preserve. For more info visit Also find them on Facebook:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Do you know an incredible artist who are doing community-based art and healing work?

The Arts & Healing Network ( anually awards artists for doing healing work that truly helps make a difference in the world. The 2014 AHN Awards will go towards artists that does community based art and healing work. Do you know an artist who does inspiring and incredible work like this? If you would like to nominate someone, go to and fill in the form. Nominations close April 15, 2014.

The Arts & Healing Network also has a great directory of related blogs, which you can find here: And last, but not least, they have given me a list of resources for artists like you and me, who need to source funding for your arts projects while our government fails to support art and culture projects in our country:

List compiled by the Arts & Healing Network

  1. The Arts & Healing Network has an extensive list of art grants at (Use the drop-down menus at the top of the page to find the kinds of grants you are looking for.)
  2. List of Art Marketing and Funding Books at
  3. The Arts & Healing Network has published a couple of e-newsletters on the topic of Fundraising.
    - "An Introduction to Funding Healing Arts Projects"
    - "Cultivating Prosperity"
    - "Creative Entrepreneurship"
  4. supports community funding. Every month, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.
  5. IndieGoGo at, does something similar to Kickstarter.
  6. Blue Earth Alliance's free PDF booklet "Shooting from the Heart" offers very thorough and pragmatic advice about seeking funding for projects. Find it at You need not be a photographer to benefit from this booklet's insights. It details information about budgeting, grant forms, book publishing and more. And it clearly outlines the four main sources of funding (individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies) and emphasizes that no matter the source "people give to their friends." So their very prescient advice is to build human connections with potential funders by writing thank you notes, inviting funders to events, etc.
  7. The New York Foundation for the Arts' "Finding Funds & Resources for Your Art" - and "Essential Tools for Grant-writing" - Both are geared towards "immigrant artists" but are applicable to all artists seeking funding for their work.
  8. Creative Capital is sharing pages from their 200+ page "Professional Development Program’s Artist’s Tools Handbook," which is full of excellent support and advice in running your art career as a thriving business:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Earthlife Africa Press Release: The climate circus is in town!

An international conference concerned with clean air, the International Union of Air Pollution Prevention Association’s (IUAPPA) “Clean Air Congress” in Cape Town at the end of September, is being sponsored by some of South Africa’s biggest air polluters.

Sasol (which is the emitter of the largest point source of climate changing greenhouse changing gases in the world); Eskom (who are currently requesting an exemption from compliance with South Africa’s National Air Quality Act and supporting plans to build yet a third mega-coal fired power station, notwithstanding radioactive emissions from its Koeberg nuclear power plant); Engen (with a long history of harm to residents of South Durban); Shell (linked to human rights and environmental violations in the Niger delta, and one of many who wish to carry out polluting hydraulic fracturing in our country) and Exarro, our 2nd largest coal mining company. We find it surprising that no mention is made of the fatally toxic and radioactive air pollution planned by the smelter plants of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) at Pelindaba.

“The Clean Air Congress is shown for what it is – an opportunity for South Africa’s Climate Clowns to sponsor a green-washing circus” said Muna Lakhani of Earthlife Africa Cape Town. “The irony is compounded by the fact that the Mayor of Cape Town and the MEC for the Western Cape (who are featured speakers at the Congress) support this process.”

Over 60 civil society organisations find this Congress problematic. An indication of the potential for “green-wash” can be found in the draft programme (fourth revision), which has as a heading “Health Impacts and Perceptions.”
“The health impacts of air pollution are not ‘perceptions’, they are a fact!” commented Des D’sa of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA). “Our children and other residents suffer from high rates of upper respiratory tract problems due to poor air quality in South Durban.” 

They are calling for companies to take responsibility for their actions, and for government to hold them accountable, in a transparent manner.

Roegshanda Pascoe, of the Manenberg development co-ordinating structure, says “Our people are hurting with the high and rising electricity prices, and with nuclear and more coal power stations, prices will just keep on escalating. Since the first price increases, we have seen an increase in domestic violence linked to unaffordability of electricity, and other social impacts. It is time government takes the steps necessary to change our vision to one of energy security for all, in a safe and sustainable way.”

Community members feel that government must take their lead from our Constitution, and fully engage civil society in our supposed “participative democracy” in fully informed and thorough consultation before taking decisions on behalf of communities, especially the poor.

The media is encouraged to cover this congress, and ask the questions that civil society are asking, viz:

  1. Why is a parastatal even asking for an exemption from our National Air Quality Act, when a substantial body of evidence confirms harm from coal fired power stations?
  2. Why is fracking even being considered, when it is at least as problematic as coal, certainly from a climate change perspective? Has nothing been learnt from water, land and air pollution impacts elsewhere in the world, accompanied by social devastation?
  3. Why is government complicit in these kinds of “greenwashing” exercises, yet finds it impossible to hold companies to account for the known harm that they do?
  4. What is the point of IUAPPA convening such a congress under these auspices, when even they (IUAPPA) confirm: “Air pollution causes over 800,000 deaths and tens of millions of respiratory and other illnesses each year. It damages ecosystems and affects quality of life, reduces economic activity and reinforces the cycle of poverty in many areas of the world.”

Civil society that is concerned with plans for more climate change-inducing coal fired power stations that is now on the cards in South Africa, dangerous and expensive nuclear power, polluting and socially and environmentally devastating hydraulic fracturing (fracking), problematic coal mines and the high price of electricity, have come together to protest this gathering of our polluters and government representatives.

The protest is planned for Sunday the 29th of September between 2pm and 4pm opposite the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Cape Town Mayor, Councillor Patricia de Lille, and representatives from the named polluting companies have been invited to receive a memorandum outlining the concerns of civil society that believe the polluter-pays-principle should be strictly enforced. This initiative has thus far received the support of more than 80 organisations.

Come and join us!!

This initiative is supported by:

Earthlife Africa Cape Town; CAPTRUST; Community Consent Movement; Manenberg Dev Co-ord Structure; Southern Cape Land Committee, Groundwork, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance,  Cochoqua Tribal House (Khoi San), Coalition for Environmental Justice, Million Climate Jobs Campaign, The South African United National Anti-nuclear Mobilisation Initiative (TSUNAMI) comprising over 60 organisations; Coalition Against Nuclear Energy (CANE) comprising numerous community-based organisations, professionals and NGOs.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

2013 Site_Specific Land Art Biennale

The Site_Specific Land Art Biennale is an event that will take place in Plettenberg Bay and surrounds during the week of 10 - 17 August 2013. As artists are working on setting up various ephemeral land art installations, visitors and locals will be able to observe their progress and attend public lectures and performances. You can also register and participate in Site_Specific's Public Programmes!

More than 40 local and international artists, including Cornelia Konrads from Germany, Won-Gil Jeon from Korea and Strijdom van der Merwe from Stellenbosch, will create temporary art works from natural materials during this week. The Biennale is hosted by Site_Specific, a not-for-profit association which aims to raise public awareness of environmental issues through their work. The event gives prominent artists the opportunity to produce works inspired by the natural surroundings and involves the public via an extensive education programme, calligraphy workshop and ecological land art walk from Nature’s Valley to Keurboomstrand.

For more information have a look at the Site_Specific Art Events Facebook page ( or website

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Browse the Archives or hop over to...

You might have seen this coming, judging mainly from the increasing silences between posts... This blog will no longer be updated, but will remain as resource to Green Artists. Please hop over to the links page for websites, blogs and other information about Greening your Art!

If you'd like to read more of the editor's writing, then follow the digital trail that leads to the following blogs:

    About land art projects and earth works in South Africa, or by South African artists
    Creative Living, including eco art, which is where my experiments in creating my own eco-friendly painting materials will be published and shared from now on!

Happy reading, and keep creating eco-conscious art!!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Delays, silence and "real world" activity

I apologize for the relative inactivity on the blog. The absence of updates and posts by no means means that nothing is happening in the world of "Green Art". Actually, quite the opposite is true! I, and I'm sure the other writers who occasionally publish to the blog, have been busy in the 'real' or non-digital world with a variety of projects and other 'responsibilities'. For me one of these projects are the second Green Art exhibition to be held at the Green Expo, at the CTICC in Cape Town at the end of November. For more information about the exhibition, check out, or contact me at to get involved in some way.

Not so much art related, but equally important is the anti-GMO marches against Monsanto on 25 May 2013. Nutrition and nourishment is essential if you want to be a healthy, happy and creative person, and the dangers that Genetically Modified food poses are a very important issue that we should all be aware of and also fight as much as we possibly can. Follow for updates about Genetically Modified food issues in Africa, and There is also a Facebook group called Artists Against Monsanto - Here's an image from their wall, by Jonte Fuchsbau, of the Berlin march against Monsanto:

What has been happening in your life and in your studio? Have you experimented with any new earth-friendly techniques? Some of the best ways, in my opinion, to create art that keeps the environment in mind is to:

  • Make your own paint, pastels and ink. There are many resources and recipes that you can find with just a little bit of research on the internet and in your local library. 
  • Look at the artistic methods of the artists from previous centuries - wax art, egg tempera and plant dyes are some examples of 'old' techniques that are, in fact, timeless and much lighter in impact on the earth. 
  • Make things - sculptures, collage works, accessories, tools, artwork frames - from 'waste' materials, especially using materials like foil and non-recyclable plastic that would end up on a landfill. 
  • Reuse food packaging to store your art materials and trinkets, you can also paint or decorate them if you don't like the 'look' of them.
...there are so many more ways. Feel free to share some of your ideas and methods as a comment below!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Nature in Expressive Movement

In 2010 Karl Cronin from San Francisco got backing from sponsors on Kickstarter for a project in which he documents the movement patterns of plants and animals. It's facinating work and I love watching his reenactments of these movement patterns. View the Somatic Natural History Archive at and

You can also read more about the project at Cargo Collective, the Movement Research Blog, and a review by Cathy Fitzgerald entitled "Performance artist creates movement portraits of 10,000 plants and animals".

When looking at a project like this, I am reminded how endless the possibilities are for art or creativity to express and explore our natural world, and to educate people about the wonders of nature! 

Are you working on a project focused on appreciating, researching, archiving, expressing and/or exploring the natural environment, animals or the landscape? Share it on this blog - email your story to 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

THE GUN & THE PEN by Stan Aneto

THE GUN & THE PEN – Stan Aneto 2013

My gun's got loaded 
my pen on the white paper of tears
should I be more concerned 
about animals and plants 
than humanity on a final push of extinction...?
They call me the earthman
Coined from an untamed affair with nature
an unscripted romance ordained by divinity
Long before my placenta was trimmed
it is a sacred calling to curate and caress
but should I be more concerned
about plants and animals
than humanity on a final push of extinction...?
The mind of poetry is insatiable
Bottomless like the pit of hell
Cos the issues on my table are endless
I am much worried about the shedding of blood
As I am worried about frequent flood
I am much worried about genocide
As I am worried about ecocide
I am much worried about nuclear warning
As I am worried about global warming
I am as much worried about mindless shelling
As I am worried about senseless tree felling
I am much worried about human rights
As I am worried about animal rights 
I am much worried about corruption
As I am worried about pollution
For I see the inordinate pursuit of riches
Increasing the scale of endangered species
The mind of poetry is insatiable
Bottomless like the pit of hell
So I bless my pen and paper

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

CALL OUT: Articles for 4th edition of Plastik

Art and biodiversity: sustainable art?

Interest in ecology and sustainable development is unprecedented, as is to the increasing concern overshadowing society´s well-being. With the news of massive deforestation and the scarcity of water resources, we are continually reminded of how animal and vegetable species are endangered. It´s clear that the need to respect the environment is shared by all but that natural resources are being exhausted through conflict of interest and contradictory action. As a result living and endangered organisms are affected by a kind of universal heritage value, as if representing the memory of an uncertain future. 
Since the ´60s, artists have testified to, and denounced, through their work, the ravages that human activity has brought on a planetary scale. With art interventions that have taken place in nature or have been an actual part of a landscape, the concepts of the environment, of site and territory, have become more visible in the art world. By demonstrating the physical properties of the material, and of the living, such artworks – whether perennial or ephemeral, in natural or developed spaces – actively call for the spectator's participation, alternately as observer, walker, or explorer in a double game with the attitude of the artist him/herself. To what extent have the new contours of spatialization in an artwork and art´s modus operandi in general contributed to the change in the way we look at the natural world? What impact has it all had on increasing the general public´s awareness, and of protecting our environment?

Between the esthetic and ethics, art and the science of the living, the 4th edition of Plastik will present an evaluation of the perimeters of action and the meaning of artistic practice dealing with the subject of safeguarding biodiversity. The ties between environmental issues and artistic creation will be tackled from the point of view of the real as well as the symbolic scope of such practices, between the implementation of an ecological, imaginary approach, and social commitment. We will try to understand the propositions revealed by artworks which entertain a relationship to the balance at play between the living and the extinction of species. What kind of response do such artworks develop in relation to this new challenge, launched by scientists, as being of the greatest interest for humanity? Is it ecological art or ecologically-made art? Can one talk of eco-gestures in art? Through their experience as researchers, artists, critics, or exhibition curators, the authors will gather together a collection of testimonials and studies, questioning the procedures in order to understand how the preservation of biodiversity has become the subject of today`s most significative artworks. 

We´ll be asking: 
  • Are researchers, and artists, in the face of environmental challenges: the new crisis managers?
  • Notions of creation and destruction, safeguarding and conservation
  • Reevaluating nature, landscape, and territory
  • Eco-art, the green esthetic, neo-naturalism, sustainable art?
  • Collaborative environmental intervention
  • Animal ethics in artistic practice, abolitionism and welfarism
  • The eco design approach, and individual commitment?
  • Implementing art and eco-gestures : exploration-fiction, surveying, plantations, collecting, ethnography, gentle intervention
  • Museums, institutions and their ecological responsibilities 
[Plastik] est la revue de l´Institut ACTE 
CNRS - Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Admission criteria for articles: 
Authors are invited to propose texts of between 3 000 and 10 000 worlds. Contributions can contain up to 10 images with a resolution of 72 dpi. Images should be sent separately, with mention of their place, title and source. The same goes for pictures and other illustrations under format image. The first page must contain: the title of the article, the name of the author(s), their affiliation, email and postal address, a summary of 10 to 15 lines and a list of keywords characterizing the contents of the article.

Deadline for articles: 
Please send your articles by email before June 15, 2013.

Rédaction [Plastik]
Institut ACTE - CNRS
Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
47 rue des Bergers 75015 Paris - France

Olga Kisseleva

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hubcap Project

Guest Post by Viv King

The Landfillart Project is an artistic endeavor that tries to increase awareness of the amount of trash people generate.

The idea was thought up by Ken Marquis, a gallery owner and framer from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, who started a collection of old discarded hubcaps  and has spent the last three years convincing other artists from all the US states and 52 foreign countries to give old hubcaps the artistic treatment.
An article from the Huffington post tells Ken's story:
Then he (Ken Marquis) began prowling the Internet, emailing artists who caught his eye to gauge their interest. 
A typical reply, Marquis says, went something like this: "`You want me to find a hubcap in my own country and pay for that, and you want me to pay for (the materials to make) this piece of great art, and then you want me to ship it to you at my expense, and then you want me to gift it to you? Am I understanding you correctly? OK, yeah, I'm in.'"
"I've had that conversation hundreds of times," Marquis says. "Artists get it."

I was one of the artists Ken contacted and I gave him pretty much the same reply! I am an ardent supporter of recycling projects, alternative building methods,  and making use of local materials and found objects wherever possible to create works of Art.

I was born in the Eastern Cape in South Africa, which has a rich tradition of beadwork amongst the Xhosa nation, lead by the great statesman and much loved former President, Nelson Mandela.

Beads were initially used as trading in the early part of the 19th Century and have a special social and ritual significance, used for denoting gender, age and status of the wearer.

I managed to source an old VW hubcap from a second hand car dealer. No, I did not trawl the dumpsites looking for them as I knew I would not find any. Some poor soul from the townships would have got there before me and made a stove out of it or something, this being South Africa and poverty being a powerful motivator of ingenuity.

I arranged the beads in an Ndebele pattern. The Ndebele is one of the many  groupings of people in the broader Southern Africa. I liked the strong African design.

A single bead is a humble object of little significance. But when put together in numbers they make a powerful statement. Just as the small voices who are calling to save our planet from extinction, when added together become a powerful  force of change in government laws, and bring about the end of industrial pollution in the world.

Ken has collected over 1000 hubcabs. 250 of these have been selected as part of a travelling exhibition which begins its journey in a Museum in Pennsylvania and from there around the States and hopefully around the world.

I am pleased that my hubcap has been chosen, as it is a subject very close to my heart.

View other hubcaps submitted as part of the project:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Publishing with fewer environmental Perils?

A bit of a focus on Green Design
written by visual artist Janet Botes

While doing some online research for my studies in 2006 I came across Celery Design Collaborative, based in Berkeley in the US. On a recent search for this Design company I found that 5 years later they're still going strong. With updated branding and some outputs or "eco tools" from their efforts in creating and supporting sustainable design they're a great example or role model for other design and publishing companies. One of the outputs is a Sustainability Score Card that gives a good overview of what options to favor when choosing paper, plastic, ink and binding methods for your next creative or publishing project. Check it out at Looking at paper, they have also created an ecological Guide to Paper. Go and read more about paper processes and how to choose your paper at

Another output is a book published in 2009, Green Graphic Design, by Brian Dougherty. Check it out at According to Jade-Snow Carroll of the Design Observer, it is a "great resource for designers wanting to practice their craft sustainably".

On the same track there is a fresh, new and local company to keep an eye on... Paper People Publishing Collective, based in Johannesburg. As a book arts network and a publishing house they encourage all their authors to print on recycled materials, and are developing solutions for hand-printed and hand-bound books from Studio 6 at the Newtown Artist-Run Centre.

As a general guideline, when choosing your paper, try choose paper that are approved by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), tree-free paper or recycled paper.

When choosing your recycled paper also consider the percentage of waste used, and the amount of chlorine used to whiten or brighten the post consumer waste paper used in the production of the paper. And how about hemp paper? From what I hear things are looking good for the possibility of having industrial hemp legalized in our country! Industrial hemp is not from the same strain of plants that can be smoked, and as hemp grows much quicker and with less water than cotton it is a great raw material for use in the clothing industry, building industry and, of course, for paper. Another new option is stone paper, have a look at the post we published about Stone Paper:

When looking at ink, suggest to your printers that they use vegetable-based inks and low-VOC solvents. And from what I've read, don’t use a printer that uses isopropyl alcohol. Generally, as with all materials and products, try to avoid inks with toxic chemicals.

When delivering and packaging your books, brochures and other designed materials for your clients, don’t wrap them in plastic, but pack them in re-usable, recycled or re-used packages. Also tell buyers to recycle or re-use all packaging and containers as far as possible.

Together all the small changes and effort we make makes a big difference.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ecological Land Art Walk - sleep under the stars!

Join for a two-day facilitated walk exploring the ecology of place through Land Art. Nature’s Valley to Keurbomstrand 13 & 14 August 2013

R 1 400 per person, sleep under the stars, fully catered.

Web registration page at: 
or email: for more info.

Monday, April 15, 2013

International Artist Feature: Sarawut Chutiwongpeti

Installation Art by Sarawut Chutiwongpeti from Thailand

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti graduated from the Department of Fine and Applied Arts at Chulalongkorn University in 1996. His work aims to explore cross-interdisciplinary junctions of art and culture, and searching for answers that can help reverse the subordination and objective materialism, which are prevalent in today’s society. Sarawut's work is created in a  search for the unexplored facets of experience. 
What are the thoughts, doubts, fears, uncertainties, and reflections that we have and experience as we head towards the new material and immaterial territories, which we are to inhabit in the future?  - Sarawut Chutiwongpeti
See more of his work at his website

The Installation series of Untitled (Wishes, Lies and Dreams),
2008, Variable Dimensions, Mixed Media

The Installation series of Untitled (Wishes, Lies and Dreams >> I Want To Believes..!),
2009, Variable Dimensions, Mixed Media

The Installation series of “Untitled 2007” (Primitive Cool),
2007, Variable Dimensions, Mixed Media

The Installation series of Untitled (Wishes, Lies and Dreams >> Paradiso...),
2009, Variable Dimensions, Mixed Media

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Awards for green initiatives & success stories

Mail & Guardian Greening the Future Celebrates a Decade!

In 2013 the Mail & Guardian’s annual flagship, Greening the Future, celebrates a decade of honouring environmental best practice in South Africa. For the past 10 years Greening the Future has publicised innovative efforts to create a cleaner planet without compromising progress. It showcases innovation in renewable energy, action to combat climate change and strategic management of natural resources.

This year new awards for Future Leaders, Rhino Rescue, Community Conservation and Biodiversity Stewardship have been added to the categories of the prestigious flagship. Awards are also given in the following categories: Business, Non-Profit Organisations, Water Management, Energy Efficiency and Carbon Management, Innovation in Renewables, and Schools and Institutions.

The awards are judged by a panel of forward-thinking and experienced individuals involved in shaping environmental sustainability in South Africa. We invite companies, parastatals, NGOs, schools, institutions and individuals to join in the celebration of the Greening Decade by showcasing your success stories in making the world a better place for those who live in it.

To enter go to www. entries open Friday February 22, 2013 and close on Friday May 3, 2013.

For more information contact:

Tamarin Marshman
Project Manager: Events
Mail & Guardian
Tel: 011 250 7300
195 Jan Smuts Ave

Monday, April 8, 2013

Artist Opportunity

Call for submissions: is inviting South African artists currently studying or who have graduated within the last five years from a recognised higher education art or design course to apply for online representation. Artists working in any visual media can submit works for consideration.

Please complete the Preliminary Application Form by following the link All applications will be reviewed by the Curatorial Panel and the successful artists will be notified by email. The application period closes on the 31st of July 2013.

About and the StateoftheART Gallery is a dynamic art marketplace offering contemporary fine art for sale by South African Fine Arts graduates and emerging artists - we make art more accessible to the world and provide a platform for selected artists to make a living without giving up their artistic vision. These are a few of the benefits that can offer you as an artist:
  • Opportunity to consign work to the StateoftheART Gallery in Cape Town
  • Free professional portfolio on the website (we take a commission on sales) 
  • Press coverage - in the last few months we have featured in Leadership Magazine, Conde Nast House & Garden and Business Day as well as many online blogs and publications. 
  • Introduction of your work to our corporate clients and collectors both nationally and internationally.

For more information visit or
contact Jennifer on T:021 801 4710

Friday, April 5, 2013

Disbandment of the Green Your Art initiative as a physical entity

Most of you know that this blog has been the digital outlet and representation of a physical movement or initiative based in Cape Town. Last year we did a demonstration on creating recycled paper, homemade glue and plant dye on Pasella. And recently we had a meeting about setting up a GYA team to run projects and extend the reach of the small initiative. In the last GYA newsletter, however, I've expressed my decision to disband the initiative. My commitment to Green Art and the role of creativity in sustainable development is by no means diminished by this act, and I have more time to focus on creating art from waste materials and developing/finding eco-friendly art materials and alternatives. This blog will be kept updated, I will connect and collaborate as an artist with projects, work and initiatives by people involved and interested in Green Art, and I now have more time to dedicate towards making the Green Expo art exhibition a bigger success this year.

The decision not made due to a lack of support from people interested to get involved and help with the initiative, and I really appreciate and value the generous offers of help and involvement. My reasons for making the big decision were based on my personal aims and priorities. If, at all, anyone is interested in fully taking on the running, management and drive of the initiative I am happy to give everything I have as resources. So if you feel THIS strong about the existence and continuation of this project, please contact me at!

And now we get to the juicy bits - my reasons. Hopefully someone could learn from this, or maybe it gives you the inspiration and insight towards making important changes in your own life.

The who, why and how of the disbandment of the Green Your Art initiative

I, Janet Botes, have been running the "show" for a few years - first in the form of the 'Ecojunki' movement, then shortly as Greenivate, and finally as GYA (Green Your Art). The project evolved from a platform for my green art projects that didn't seem to fit my other fine art works, which at that stage (from about mid 2007) were mostly self-expressive, abstract art.

As my work evolved and I grew as an artist and person, the two separate directions or styles in my art (abstract, expressive versus eco-friendly nature-focused) started to merge. Which led me towards making Ecojunki and eventually Green Your Art more inclusive - featuring other artists and encouraging artists to work with a more environmentally-sensitive approach.

One of my biggest challenges has been to manage my time in a way that I don't neglect important aspects of my art or of the initiative. I've ended up spending too many hours in front of the computer and not enough time with a paintbrush in my hand, too many hours strategizing and brainstorming and not enough time being in nature.

When assessing and evaluating the situation during the two weeks following the meeting on 16 March, I shared my feelings, concerns and thoughts with my husband, who's walked most of the Ecojunki-GYA journey with me. He reminded me that I've considered 'merging' it with my art practice (e.g. giving eco art workshops under my own artist name rather than GYA), and disbanding the initiative four other times within the last two years. I've felt - and strongly now feel - the need to focus my efforts towards more self-initiated and consolidated projects as an artist, land artist, designer, workshop facilitator and photographer, without the responsibilities and expectations involved with running an initiative representing or affecting other people's projects, interests and investments.

In a sense I am becoming more selfish with my time, but the result of time spent on my passions rather than sticking to something I've outgrown, or something that has outgrown me, will prove itself valuable to everyone who work with me. Essentially I am an artist, and I get great joy from creating new things. Even though I've done a relatively efficient job at running Green Your Art, my management, coordination and organizing skills are not my strengths, and does not serve my purpose on the earth as well as working as a committed full time artist, crafter, and creator. There are several organizations and initiatives that serve as similar collective network or play a connective role within our community in supporting and connecting artists and people with a strong connection to nature and sustainable development. Get involved with these guys: annually has global campaigns which give ample opportunity to get create and raise awareness for the environment. They also have the following specific art-related campaigns or initiatives to get involved with:

There's also several links on the links page of this blog!

After sharing most of my personal reasons, I'd like to end off with a quick explanation why setting up the team, and sharing responsibilities with other people, would not have been sufficient in truly giving me the time and focus that I crave:
  • Even when having people to help with a project, there needs to be a leader, facilitator, director to organize the responsibilities, people and resources. This is a big responsibility and have proven to be just as time consuming than 'doing things yourself'', your tasks and actions just change. In fact, with growth comes more admin!
  • I find that people are seldom able to take charge, commit or take ownership of something that they didn't conceive or create. This is natural, and of course there is often uncertainty on how much and what you are 'allowed' to do or change within a company, organization or initiative. This keeps the onus of driving the initiative forward mostly, if not solely, on me.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment at the end of this post! I trust, however, that I have given a relatively clear image of my reasoning around the disbandment of Green Your Art.

With no regrets & a warm heart,
Janet Botes

The Site_Specific SIDES Programme: CALL FOR PROPOSALS

click to enlarge

Site_Specific International Land Art Biennale
10 - 17 August 2013, Plettenberg Bay

Site_Specific hereby invites proposals for contemporary site specific land art works with the focus on using natural materials, and to create work that is ephemeral and embracing of the natural beauty of Plettenberg Bay.


The second Site_Specific International Land Art Biennale will take place in Plettenberg Bay 10 - 17 August 2013. This year, Site_Specific will be opening the event to 15 more artists to create their work in Plettenberg Bay alongside the core group of invited artists from Germany, South Korea and South Africa.

We realised that there are many artists that want to be part of Site_Specific, although we can only financially support a core group of invited artists. Thus we have decided to invite an additional maximum of 20 artists as a ‘fringe’ group on the basis and mutual understanding that they will work independently.

These Site_Specific SIDE artists will have the opportunity to join the invited artists in the programme schedule for the period, including lectures, discussions, workshops and social events. The SIDES work will be on display in the same area as those of the invited core group, and will be included in the Site_Specific catalogue documenting the event.


  1. Support in identifying a site for your art work and the permission from all the relevant authorities.
  2. Inclusion in the official programme and catalogue of Site_Specific 2013.
  3. Participation in the evening lectures, discussions, workshops and social events of Site_Specific 2013.
  4. Inclusion and exposure to all media that will cover the event.
  5. On approval of your proposal, you will receive a Site_Specific Participant Passport, that will entitle you to significantly discounted accommodation and other offers at Plettenberg Bay establishments.


  1. Application deadline: 2 May 2013
  2. Selection of artists: 2 June 2013 
  3. Working on site in Plettenberg Bay: 10-17 August 2013
  4. Opening event: 17 August 2013
  5. Closing and dismantling of art work: 18 August 2013


  1. Artists will be responsible for their own transport, accommodation, meals etc.
  2. Artists will be responsible for their own material, tools, realisation and installation of art work.
  3. Artists will accept and obey all the rules and guidelines provided by Site_Specific during the week long event.


Site_Specific reserves the right to publish photographs and films showing the exhibited art works.


Please send the following information to by 2 May 2013.
  1. A concept drawing of your proposed art work showing it from different angles.
  2. Explanation: title, technique and size of the proposed art work.
  3. List of materials that you plan to use.
  4. Describe a preferred site along the Milkwood Trail in Plettenberg Bay (including Main & Robberg Beach) that you have in mind for the work. Other sites can be considered if relevant.
  5. Supply a time frame for installing your art work and taking it down on 18 August 2013.
  6. Supply your name and contact details (email address and mobile phone number).
  7. Proof of EFT payment, please use SIDE plus your name as payment reference i.e. SIDEnameSurname.


Please pay ZAR 250.00 into our account to help cover administrative costs.

FNB, Account name: K2102029381
Account no.: 62353123335
Rosebank branch code: 250655
Reference: SIDEyourName

Proposals without proof of payment will not be processed.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

NESTING by Danien Esselen

Look at these fabulous works by Danien Esselen! Nests, bark hideouts and bulb-like art habitats. I first saw her work at the Gallery @ Grande Provence in Franschhoek, Western Cape, as part of the Walk This Earth Alone exhibition, and recently saw these photographs from her "Nesting" exhibition. Danien Esselen completed a BA (Hon) Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria, but have lived in the country side all her life - growing up with a strong connection to the land and nature. 

Herewith images from the exhibition and excerpts from Danien's artist statement:

"The Nest artworks are a subjective reflection of myself as a woman becoming a mother. The work therefore has a strong feminine quality and focuses significantly on the Maternal. The Nests symbolise a maternal womb; a place of safety, shelter and protection. Each Nest becomes a sacred place where any mother can safely shield and nurture her infant. The intense detail and aesthetic quality in the Nests reflect this fetish and compulsive nature of the female -The Maternal."

"The creation process of these Nests are also very significant. The natural materials are delicately collected, gathered and rummaged for. The material is then delicately handled further and processed until fitting. Then only is that material woven, platted, entwined and manipulated into a Nest structure. All these processes are essential and a significant feminine act. The natural media which is used in creating these nests is very metaphorical, referring to the notion of the caring and nurturing mother/ Mother Earth. "

"These Nest artworks become a symbol of protection and to “memorise a loss and also defend against it.” It is symbolical that nature and the environment are disappearing and being destroyed daily and that it is essential that we protect it. Viewers can interact with these Nest artworks and explore nature at a closer and more intense and spiritual level as one can touch, feel and smell the works, highlighting the sacred and almost spiritual powers nature embodies and what an essential part it is of life and our daily lives.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Call for proposals: international Environmental Art Residency

2013 Environmental Art Residency Program/Biennale: September
I-Park Foundation, East Haddam, Connecticut, USA

Application Deadline: Monday, April 1, 2013

A call for proposals to those working in the following creative fields:
  • Environmental sculpture/installation
  • Landscape/garden design
  • Music composition, sound sculpture/design
  • Performance art
  • Language arts
  • Architecture
  • Photography, moving image
  • Inter-disciplinary practice

Artists will create their works on site during their residency for presentation at the Biennale. 12 – 15 artists will be selected to participate. A $2,000 prize will be awarded to each participant or collaborating team to create the work, and transportation costs of up to $1,200 for artists travelling to and from other countries like South Africa. Lodging and meal service provided during the residency. There is a $30.00 entry fee.

To find out more and apply, go to:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Artist Feature: Imke Rust

Keep an eye open for work by Imke Rust, who is making waves... Her work casts a critical eye on the controversial mining and industrial developments on the Namibian coast, and her exhibition showing this work has been rejected by the Swakopmund Arts Association due to it being labeled as "an irrelevant and scientifically dubious campaign against the economically important uranium mining in Namibia".  Rust works in a variety of mediums and techniques to express her views and raise awareness towards the concerns and feelings of the community. Find out more on her website:

Dorob (NOT) 4Sale 2013

Temporary installation of 15 signs at 5 different locations along 
the C34 road in the Dorob National Park, Namibia.
Dimensions of Signs: 60 x 80cm
Correx Board, digital prints, spray paint, iron poles & cable binders
11 – 29 January 2013
Permanent webpage: and 
life cellular phone number with prerecorded answering message.

 Subrosa 2012
Temporary Installation of 99 black roses in the Namib Desert

22° 43’ 01” S – 14° 33’ 47” E,  April 2012
Original Dimensions: 90 x 270 x270cm
Black rubbish bags, barbed wire, wire

Tokoloshe Trap 2012

Temporary installation of 1521 white thorn pairs from the Acacia Karroo tree arranged into 39 circles in a side tributary of the Swakop river bed, Namib Desert.

22° 38’ 10” S – 14° 43’ 40” E, April 2012
Original dimensions: 5 x 600 x 250 cm
Medium: Acacia thorns

Saturday, March 9, 2013

GREEN EXPO participation callout

Invitation for artist applications, curator proposals & sponsorship/collaboration
GREEN EXPO Green Art 2013

In November 2012 eight invited artists exhibited art during the Green Expo at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). This year we are working with the intention of having an art exhibition at the Sandton Convention Centre GREEN EXPO too - we invite proposals from curators based in Johannesburg. In addition to the artists being invited to participate in the Cape Town exhibition, we are doing a call for Western Cape artists whose work can be categorized as "green art" or environmental art. 

Interested artists (Western Cape): 
Please send examples of your work (photographs of maximum 1MB each), an artist statement/description of your work and motivation, and your biography or artist resumé. 
DEADLINE: 30 April 2013

Interested curators (Johannesburg): 
Please send your proposal (outlining the basic concept or theme, potential artists, and general provisional layout and/or installation of the exhibition) and CV. 
DEADLINE: 30 April 2013

Partnership, sponsorship and collaboration:
Anyone interested to get involved in another way, don't hesitate to contact us. We need sponsors to fund the exhibitions, and this is a great opportunity to show your commitment towards the arts as well as creativity that raises awareness around environmental issues. 

To read more about the 2012 exhibition, go to You can also read the Green Art Manifesto for the 2012 exhibition on Kai Lossgott's blog at

For more information, or to apply, please contact Janet Botes at

Artist Network Opportunity: Cape Town

Monday, February 18, 2013

COMPETITION: Elle Decoration Solve New Talent Search

Elle Decoration Solve - Pick n Pay

Design an innovative, multi-functional object that incorporates a plant, or several plants, in order to green urban balconies and small indoor/ outdoor spaces. It's a call to address the challenging issues of greening in urban environments, where gardens are limited to balconies or small gardens and courtyards. This can be anything from a modular system, an item of furniture or any other design element that addresses the 'growing' need to green our spaces. The overall design dimensions should not exceed 1 cubic metre (length x breadth x height). However, if the design is part of a modular system, then one component must not exceed this size, but the overall size would be larger when the components are assembled.
Check the competition out!
DEADLINE: 19 July 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bodo City, by Stan Aneto

"The people of bodo, a community in Ogoni Land of Niger Delta Nigeria, have been on the spotlight of many environmental discourse. I found out why, when I paid a visit myself. My findings were politically sensitive and emotional. As a poet and film maker, it was only natural for me to create this piece, hoping they eventually find the justice and ultimately, the world that once belonged to them." - Stan Aneto

Stan Aneto is a pro environmental artist, film maker, poet and performer currently residing in Cape Town. Over the years, his passion for nature and the environment has inspired songs, poems, and also visual arts. 'TRAUMATA OF THE EARTH QUEEN' is a theatre work of 1 hour, consisting of poetry, dance, music, photography and fashion on one stage. It tells a story of our beautiful planet, a queen, as she goes through a terrible time of abuse from her subjects. View the 15 minute pilot of Traumata of the Earth Queen on Youtube

He is interested in getting involved or collaborating with an organization. If interested, contact him at:
STAN ANETO | cell: 078 622 4832 | e: | twtr: @stananeto

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Stone Paper - is the writing on the wall?


Existence Series, 1989

Acrylic, Chinese ink, Xuan paper, wood, stone, paper mache on canvas 
84 × 75 × 8 cm

stone papers” contain 80% Calcium Carbonate (basically pulverized marble or limestone) and 20% High Density Polyethylene (HDPE—the same plastic that’s used in milk jugs and plastic bags).

Source: Tumblr

While there's not yet a lot of reviews about the paper, and whether it's really as environmentally friendly as it claims to be, it seems to be a good option when you look at the water consumption and energy savings in its production. They are said to use no water, no toxic chemical bleaches and use far less energy.  They are recyclable as well. (Read more)

From the Sketchy Musings Blog

I have also read that the paper is made from the waste product in quarries from the building and construction industry. If this is the case, and if the sludge from mining dumps could also be used, then this paper has my vote.

Read up, find out and speak up! What do you think - is this tree free paper a wonderful new innovation or just another gimmick tapping into a green consumerism market? Leave a comment, or email your thoughts to