One of our environmentally-minded artists, Janet Botes, compiles a collection in celebration of Women's Day.
On August 9, 1956, 20,000 women, representing all racial backgrounds, came from all over South Africa to march on the Union Buildings, where they stood in silent protest for 30 minutes while petitions with 100,000 signatures were delivered to the Prime Minister’s office. Many men in the anti-apartheid movement were surprised by the women’s militancy, and the protest contributed to women playing a bigger role in the struggle for freedom and democracy. August 9th now is celebrated as National Women’s Day in South Africa.
'For this collection I selected artworks that somehow manages to honour the feminine, the role of women in society, or Mother Earth. In the words of Kirsty Rich, when talking about her Stripped series: "...whilst I physically strip away the numerous layers of paint, I symbolically strip away a history of contrived images, artificial trappings and manufactured meaning that has forged the spurious surface of the female figure." Some of the works feature bees - in bee colonies, and many other insect communities, the queen is the most important member of the colony - without her, the hive are unable to grow, sustain itself or establish new hives. The activities and work of all the bees are centred around supporting the queen and her role.
Some of the work I chose, however, is simply beautiful and I dedicate them to the amazing women that I have in my life. I hope you see an artwork you would love to buy to a special woman in your life. And this Woman's Day, may you see the beauty and strength in all the women around you, as well as within yourself.'