kali van der merwe
GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE
red listed species
Kali views herself as a visual advocate on behalf of wild, fragile indigenous flora and fauna, encouraging people to observe, connect and be immersed in sense of wonder.
She images species on the (IUCN)’s Red List as a way to draw attention to their exquisite beauty and as a way to mourn their uncertain existence.
The works on show here come from her exhibition 'After Life, an aperture to the mysteries life through the lens of death’, which was first shown at Iziko South African Museum in Cape Town in 2018. They were displayed as vinyl transfers adhered to the floor of the Kings Map Room. Visitors were able to walk on top of the images, ironically echoing how the last wild populations of some endangered fynbos have been decimated. Trampling, compresses sandy soils, accelerating erosion, causing root damage and disease transfer which can kill fragile, endemic fynbos species. The marsh rose, Orothamnus zeyheri, is a case in specific where the last population in Kleinmond was made extinct by over zealous and irresponsible hikers.
Presently, it is a fact that, species extinction is taking place on an unprecedented scale. There are conflicting reports from scientists about the exact numbers. Some reports estimate it could be as high as 100 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal being lost each day.
The installation of these images at the museum were displayed together with examples of laws which enshrine the protection of the Earths' rights. So far only two countries in the world, Bolivia and Ecuador have enshrined the protection of the earth in their legal system. The Ganges river in India and the Whanganui river in New Zealand have been given legal rights, mostly due to activism by indigenous people.
The fynbos of this series are half in and half out of their porthole frames as they fade from existence, which will probably take place within our lifetimes.
These specimens were collected over a three year period and kindly received from Cape Nature and Sandberg Fynbos Reserve after an educational display at the annual Cape Floral Kingdom Expo in Bredasdorp. They came from a range of sources including the wild and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
all images are available in limited edition prints. contact: Kali
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