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Nic Bladen: Botanical Studies in Bronze & Silver II

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From 24 February to 20 March 2021, Everard Read London will present Botanical Studies in Bronze & Silver II, an exhibition of unique botanical sculpture by South African artist, Nic Bladen, regarded as one of the world’s finest botanical sculptors working today.

The Cape Floral Kingdom is the ecological jewel of South Africa. Over 10,000 species of plants eke out an existence on minerally-depleted gravel, crammed together in a minute area on the southern tip of the continent.

Delicate ephemerals, heavily spinaceous shrubs and hard-leaved members of the Ericaceae and Proteaceae family exhibit a bewildering array of adaptations to accommodate the desiccating winds of a long dry summer. Seeds of many contain a sweet gift for ants that carry them to subterranean nests where they remain dormant until the chemistry from a cleansing fire permeates the soil, triggering a profusion of growth that has delighted plant lovers and botanists for centuries.

Bladen makes his home in this botanical treasure chest that is the southern tip of Africa. Through the alchemical process that transpires in his studio’s furnaces, the artist is able to produce delicate artistic reconstructions of astoundingly beautiful flowering plants. The precision and care that goes into casting and reconstructing lifelike replicas is immense, and Bladen has become a master of his craft.

Central to Bladen’s mission is a desire to preserve the singular beauty of plants through his art, and with this new collection of bronze sculptures, all unique casts, the artist shines a light on the subtle and diverse beauty of the plants of his native Western Cape. We are all the more sensitised to their extraordinary beauty given the indications that their home will be one of the globe’s regions that is most affected by climate change.

Nic Bladen has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at the Everard Read galleries in South Africa and London. This is his second solo exhibition with Everard Read London.


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