Nature's art is undervalued, says zoologist-turned-sculptor
The latest nature-inspired works of Lindy Rodwell van Hasselt went on display in the KZN Midlands last weekend.
The month-long exhibition, In Full Flight, is her first in KZN and takes place at the Zulu Lulu Art House in the Piggly Wiggly complex.
The zoologist-turned-sculptor is showcasing her signature blue swallows and delicate carmine bee-eater sculptures, each individually hand-crafted in clay.
Rodwell says she is driven by her fascination with the natural world.
"We seem to have lost touch with how interconnected everything is," she says. "We consider ourselves as separate or apart from nature whereas we are in fact a part of it - and unthinkingly can have a terribly negative impact. I like to think my work portrays the beauty but also sends a message of warning and sometimes hope."
The blue swallow is on the critically endangered list and her use of blue and white patterns (a reference to highly collectable Delft pottery) juxtaposes the value placed on these "treasures".
"Made in the 16th century, [Delft] is highly prized by collectors and copied by artists all over the world," she says, "Yet the blue swallow, designed, created and perfected thousands of years ago, is undervalued and ignored. The reason for its decline, the destruction of its grassland catchment habitat, is not being adequately addressed even as we experience the worst water shortages in decades."
Her work asks when our natural heritage will be valued equally with our cultural heritage.
Zulu Lulu gallery owner and fellow ceramic artist Trayci Tompkins says the work is thought-provoking, compassionate and provocative. "Lindy's depth of understanding and sensitivity to both her subject and craft is sensational. We are so looking forward to sharing her work and stories with visitors to our gallery," said Tompkins.
• This article was originally published in The Times.