VERGE Exhibition Artists Reveal their Connection with Nature through their Work

With all the noise around us, it can be difficult to hear our inner voice. Yet these artists are in tune with the connection they have with nature. Guided by their inner want, they create their voice in their own specific way for you to connect with.

These artists will all participate in VERGE exhibition. If you have missed the previous post on the other VERGE artists, please read the post here.

Amy Anstey

Amy Anstey

Amy Anstey is multi-talented. She never limits herself or stops learning. Not only does she create art on canvas, but she is also a hairstylist and a makeup artist. Living on the Garden Route, Amy is full of gratefulness for the beauty of nature around her. It is in nature that she feels most free and energised. With her love of nature, she manages to find amazing spots in nature to explore.

“Conservation has been a significant theme in my life since I was a child. It has affected the way I eat, the clothes I wear, and the way I choose to be a consumer in the world. I wanted to get involved in the exhibition to share a message about how our collective choices affect the world around us. Small actions we take on a daily basis can have a vast and long lasting impact on our environment. I would like my impact to be a positive one, or non invasive at the very least. Art allows us to preserve some of the beauty that we see in the world through a unique viewpoint. We can capture the most fragile ecosystems and creatures and give them a sense of longevity through our art.“

Connect with Amy on Instagram or visit her website here.


Annie le Roux

Annie le Roux

Annie studied under Eric Laubscher and Jonathan Comerford at The Ruth Prowse Art School. It was here that managed to secure her Diploma in Fine Art and Printmaking. However, she continued to get complimentary qualifications in Clinical Hypno-Therapy, and other healing modalities. With her knowledge she worked with Death and Dying for many years. Death and Dying is viewed by her as something more than an unspoken aspect of life, but rather as something of beauty.

“I often have the feeling that i don’t belong. Mostly this feeling arises in homes, in suburbs or in cities where us humans have made our cozy noisy nests. However, it is when I am where humans aren’t, with only nature around me as far as the year can see, and as far as my ears can hear, I belong. Immediately.

I sometimes feel like a bird flying into a glass windowpane where open air should have been. Frightened, dumbstruck and dizzy from searching for a sense of belonging even within the homely space I have made with such tenderness and care.
Wild spaces fosters my belonging. The dark night sky brings me home. The stones and veld and far horison speaks a language the very deepest nature of my being understands. Nature mirrors our own quiet and wild vastness within. Without such spaces I too would whimper, wilt and die as countless species do daily, without their natural home or habitat, without a space of true belonging.

As i love, live, work, walk and travel between the Tankwa Karoo, Cape West Coast and Plettenberg Bay, I will be focusing on the species which has a deep, rich personal or mythical relevance to me : species like the critically endangered River Rhine rabbit of the Tankwa Karoo, the flowy and floaty eel grass in the estuaries and lagoons of the Garden Route and the rough rugged Renosterveld of the Cape and Klein Karoo.”

To see and read more about Annie le Roux, you can visit her website.


Janet Botes

Janet Botes

Janet’s love for nature helped shape her artistic style and her connection with animals, creativeness and plants alike. This special bond has moved her to action. Often seen active in environmental activities, Janet also creates her own events when possible. Janet finds her own personal growth important and can be found taking on new artistic ventures, such as residencies abroad or workshops by other talented artists. Further she also attempts a variety of personal growth experiences, such as a quiet mediation week. Through hard work, Janet hopes to make a difference through her lifestyle, which she wants to harmonise with nature.

Janet has a BTech qualification in Graphic Design (Cum Laude) at the University of Technology in 2006 in Vanderbijlpark. However she has plenty of other experiences behind her. You can currently find her as curator of and participating artist in VERGE exhibition.

“You could say that I have fallen in love with the beautiful Knysna Leaf-folding frog, also known as the Knysna Banana Frog or the Knysna Reed Frog. When I saw photos of this elusive, rare and endemic amphibian, I was reminded of my research for my body of work ‘ORGANISM’, particularly regarding the following: Human embryos resemble the embryos of any other mammal, bird or amphibian during certain developmental stages because all animals carry very ancient genes dating back to the origin of cells. We’re created from the same dust, elements and atoms and governed by the same natural laws – even though our human-made laws don’t grant the same rights to other organisms.

“At the same time, while I am writing this, we have hundreds of tadpoles in the garden pond, although the kingfishers in the area will bring their numbers down significantly. Two animal groups stand out for me when I think of the concept ‘metamorphosis’, and the frogs are one them. The other group represents the many insects that go through a pupae stage from which they emerging as adult members. Frogs spawn and grow as little tadpoles who grow legs as they mature, these changes are visible (since they don’t spin themselves into a cocoon), and are thus a very strong symbol of transformation for me – not only biological transformation, but they are a symbol to me of the transformation in human thinking that is happening – a change in the way we perceive our place in the ecosystem – as part of it, not above it – and among our fellow species – as another inter-dependent species, not as ‘overlord’. Transformation is happening, and the dialogues are happening, even though slowly we are growing, changing, finding new understandings as the human species.”

To see more work by or to find out more about Janet Botes, visit her website here.


Kali van der Merwe

Even though Kali has a degree in Fine Arts focussed on sculpture from Cape Town, she didn’t stop her education there. Instead, she stayed temporarily in Berlin, where she found her new interest in film-making. Back in South Africa, her films explored deep meanings and for 15 years she successfully enjoyed this artistic venture.

However, seeking a more personal creativity connection between herself and her work, brought on inner growth and awakening. With her new vision, she found her own special artistic style. Her style mixes together painting and photography, called “light painting”. By using this technique, she explores the interconnection between life and death in hope to find the soul of form and light.

With her connection to nature, Kali sees herself as a visual advocate on behalf of fragile and threatened wild animals and plants.

You can connect with Kali on her website.


Madelein Marincowitz

Madelein Marincowitz

Madelein holds a qualification in Fine Arts from Tshwane University of Technology (Pretoria Technikon). With her qualification, she also brings plenty of experience and passion to her canvas. Her work seeks the connection between the different subjects in a sub-reality fashion through combining contrasting styles and ideas. Through her eyes we can see the issues we are faced with today and how it affects us.

The fate of our environment in a fragile human world.

The Agricultural Revolution could be one of the biggest mistakes in human history. Although it allowed civilizations to thrive on an individual level, human’s eternal drive to accumulate wealth has created an economic and environmental crises.

Rapid population growth and urbanization threatening the environment through expansion and intensification of industrial agriculture. Deforestation and the non-evolutionary loss of species is a calamity of unprecedented magnitude. Disappearance of wildlife and ecosystems are unimpaired by stresses from human activity. Depletion of nonrenewable resources, watershed destruction, soil degradation, overgrazing, over-fishing, pollution and harmful chemicals has reduced biological diversity and the protection of ecological integrity should be fundamental, while limiting human manipulation and control of nature.

Find out more about Madelein on her website.