• Janet Botes

    South Africa

    Janet Botes
    • Artist Statement
      • My art is predominantly inspired by nature. This love is expressed as landscapes, and as depictions of objects and living creatures found in the landscape - sometimes representational, while other times abstract or conceptual. I enjoy working in a variety of different techniques, sizes and mediums - using different approaches to achieve textures, forms and compositions that expresses some part of essence of the natural landscape that I experience or find myself in.

        Some disciplines that I employ in my work include Land Art, Drawing, Mixed Media Painting, Photography, Assemblage, and Digital Art or New Media. Texture often plays an important role, not only in paintings or sculptural work, but also in my digital work. The rough surface of a rock and the smooth curve of a shell; and how these tactile differences feel emotionally, intrigues me.

        Each artwork excites me, as the unpredictability of some materials are integral to my process - I work very intuitively, allowing an artwork to take shape as it needs to. 'Mistakes' are often reworked and transformed into something unplanned or unexpected. Nothing gets wasted. My art is seated in a deep belief that we need to live in harmony with our earth, creating sustainable systems and methods of living and creating - this includes taking responsibility for the waste created from the creation of my art.
    • Biography

      • Attaining a BTech in Graphic Design from the Vaal University
        of Technology (cum laude) in 2006, I have been able to merge design,
        photography and fine art techniques in my work in pursuit of an
        individual or unique style. I have facilitated and attended several
        workshops as part of my work. Some of the workshops attended include an
        introductory workshop in Art Therapy, a concept development workshop by
        Kai Lossgott, and a Professional Arts Practice workshop presented by Art
        Source and Art Space Gallery. Since 2013 I have been involved with
        Site_Specific Land Art Events, and participated as an invited artist in
        the 2013 International Land Art Biennale in Plettenberg Bay. I also
        created an artwork for one of the bus stations for Cape Town City's
        MyCiti BRT service in the same year; and in 2012 curated and organized
        the (eco)nversations Green Art exhibition as part of the the Green Expo,
        held at the CTICC. 

        I get wildly inspired by walks in nature, deep
        discussions with friends and work by other artists. Some of the artists
        whose work inspire me most are Strijdom van der Merwe, Willem Boshoff,
        Lien Botha, Berni Searle, Ian Marley, Marina Abramovic, Roni Horn, Di
        Smith, Stefanie Schoeman and Walter Battiss. My debut solo exhibition
        "Wild & Still: expressions of the landscape" will show from 5-30
        June 2014 at the www.StateoftheART.co.za gallery space in Cape Town. An introduction by Strijdom van der Merwe
        and a performance art piece that offers more insight into the work
        exhibited, will open the exhibition on 5 June from 6pm.

        Selected Group Exhibitions:

        | Pieces & Puzzles: Compositions of human expression inspired by
        nature, curated by Stefanie Schoeman. Lovell Gallery, 139 Albert Road,

        2013 | Encounters Annual Wildlife exhibition at the Cape Gallery, Cape Town.

        2013 | Hiernamaals | Hereafter at Slee Gallery, Stellenbosch, during Woordfees 2013.

        2012 | Walk This Earth Alone at Gallery @ Grande Provence, Franschhoek.

        2012 | HumanEarth III: First Material group exhibition, US Gallery, Stellenbosch.

        2011 | Scrapes & Scapes. Bodutu Gallery, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark.

        2010 | Dare to Dream in silent moments at Wessel Snyman Creative, Cape Town.

        2009 | Sangisa Sangisa Group Exhibition & performance art VANSA Spin Space, Cape Town.

        2008 | Unified: Unpretty, Unclean, Underneath, Unnatural Eat Your Words Artspace, Vereeniging.

        2008 | Between the lines at Gallery at Duncan Yard, Hatfield, Pretoria. 

    • Interview
      • What is your favourite film of all time?
        The Crow – the original 1994 one with Brandon Lee.
        What music are you currently listening to and why?
        Depending on my mood, I listen to Depeche Mode or South African rock bands like Knave, Straw, Wickhead and Namuh.  I have loved Depeche Mode's music since my art teacher in high school played it in class while we were drawing, and I support local music in the same way that I would like people to support local visual artists.
        Which living artists do you most admire and why?
        Strijdom van der Merwe and Andy Goldworthy for their Land Art, in which they work extensively in landscapes and use natural materials to create transient work. I also admire Berni Searle, Lien Botha, Christiaan Diedericks, Willem Boshoff and Wim Botha all for the visual intricacies in their work as well as their interaction and apt interpretation of their mediums and concepts, whether it be performative (Searle), photographic (Lien Botha), drawing-based (Diedericks), language-focused (Boshoff) or responding to religious practices (Wim Botha).

        Which deceased artist do you most admire and why?
        While my favourite living artists are all local, my favourite deceased artists are internationl, including Mark Rothko for his experimentations with colour, Toulouse-Lautrec for the way he expressed and interpreted his subject matter, Degas for his masterly use of pastels, and Joseph Buyes for his ground-breaking avant garde work which relied on interaction and public participation.

        Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?
        When I was 16 we visited the Millenium Gallery in Pretoria as a school trip, where I first saw the work of Christiaan Diedericks, a series of portraits that integrated the thoughts of the person as typography or text above the head of the person – it could have been self portraits, and I can't remember the title of the exhibition, but I think that was one of the moments in my life that I really KNEW that I wanted to be an established artist when I grow up.

        What is the question you get asked most frequently about your work and how do you answer it?
        I am often asked what medium I use and prefer, and because I work in a variety of media and techniques, it usually sparks a long conversation or monologue about mixed media, photography, Land Art, collage, drawing and the advantages of mixing your mediums.

        What/ who inspired you to be an artist?
        I was lucky to have great art teachers at school, Lientjie Barnard and Thea Luus, who made Art History interesting and inspiring. They exposed me to the work of European, American as well as South African artists that inspired me and fed my passion for art that started to form while in primary school. I remember going to art classes at Alteljee Cecil in Vanderbijlpark when I was about 11 years old. I also remember going to dance classes at about 7 years old, really loving it, and being very disappointed when the dance teacher moved to another town.

        Can you tell us about where you make your art and what if any, the significance of this location is
        I love working in the landscape, whether I'm drawing/painting my immediate surroundings or  working with the actual materials and objects in the landscape. There is a sense of closeness, reality and also peace when working in nature. That closeness to the creation, and involvement in the process also extends to my work in the studio, as I love applying paint with my fingers and getting as close as possible to the artwork. This is also a motivation for some of my current work where my body and the act of creation becomes part of the work.

        What do you like most about being an artist?
        The freedom to follow your urges, to experiment and to explore, while not being confined by limitations set by others.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
        It might not seem like such a big achievement, but my migration from a graphic designer doing the bidding of clients towards a full time artist who creates and expresses and follows my whims and passion is the biggest and best thing that I have achieved up to now.

        What are your plans for the coming year?
        I would like to have my first solo exhibition, but have it in three parts, in three different places – Vanderbijlpark, Cape Town, and Pretoria or Upington. This of course means traveling, and while on residency in an area I would do some interactive work as well as create new artworks. I'm also planning to do more art in the landscape around the Cape Peninsula, and link in my art into meaningful collaborations with organizations and groups that raise awareness for environmental concerns.



  • the flow of the land painting janet botes JANET BOTES
    The Flow Of The Land
    Painting / 84 x 84 cm
  • expansion painting janet botes JANET BOTES
    Painting / 53 x 41 cm
  • breathe into the landscape painting janet botes JANET BOTES
    Breathe Into The Landscape
    Painting / 54 x 42 cm
  • my mountains ed. 2/5 fine art editions janet botes JANET BOTES
    My Mountains Ed. 2/5
    Fine Art Editions / 120 x 25 cm
  • nuances: silvermine table mountain extra large limited edition print janet botes JANET BOTES
    Nuances: Silvermine Table Mountain
    Extra Large Limited Edition Print / 180 x 76 cm
  • nuances: a nuance of the mountain limited edition print janet botes JANET BOTES
    Nuances: A Nuance Of The Mountain
    Limited Edition Print / 104 x 80 cm
  • transformed landscape/innerscape mixed media janet botes
    Transformed Landscape/Innerscape
    Mixed Media / 65 x 65 cm
  • cape flora i painting janet botes
    Cape Flora I
    Painting / 18 x 18 cm
  • cape flora ii painting janet botes
    Cape Flora II
    Painting / 18 x 18 cm
  • cascade mixed media janet botes
    Mixed Media / 66 x 90 cm
  • of beast and bee drawing janet botes
    Of Beast And Bee
    Drawing / 30 x 40 cm
  • soul contents drawing janet botes
    Soul Contents
    Drawing / 29 x 42 cm
  • wildness contained drawing janet botes
    Wildness Contained
    Drawing / 29 x 42 cm
  • avian drawing janet botes
    Drawing / 42 x 30 cm
  • home of the protea drawing janet botes
    Home Of The Protea
    Drawing / 42 x 30 cm
  • nuances: upington rain prayer limited edition print janet botes
    Nuances: Upington Rain Prayer
    Limited Edition Print / 104 x 80 cm
  • nuances: hantam hartland digital art janet botes
    Nuances: Hantam Hartland
    Digital Art / 120 x 63 cm
  • nuances: stellenberg helderberg limited edition print janet botes
    Nuances: Stellenberg Helderberg
    Limited Edition Print / 130 x 60 cm
  • nuances: look far ahead new media janet botes
    Nuances: Look Far Ahead
    New media / 62 x 80 cm
  • nuances:  in every drop of water lies the history of the world new media janet botes
    Nuances: In Every Drop Of Water Lies The History Of The World
    New media / 55 x 80 cm
  • nuances: fly home new media janet botes
    Nuances: Fly Home
    New media / 80 x 85 cm
  • nuances: landscaping of the ancients limited edition print janet botes
    Nuances: Landscaping Of The Ancients
    Limited Edition Print / 150 x 29 cm
  • nuances: forces of the soil limited edition print janet botes
    Nuances: Forces Of The Soil
    Limited Edition Print / 150 x 100 cm
  • odonata ink drawing janet botes
    Ink drawing / 29 x 40 cm
  • nuances: swellendam marloth digital collage janet botes
    Nuances: Swellendam Marloth
    Digital collage / 65 x 65 cm
  • nuances: koekenaap digital collage janet botes
    Nuances: Koekenaap
    Digital collage / 70 x 60 cm
  • nuances: plains for view digital collage janet botes
    Nuances: Plains For View
    Digital collage / 70 x 64 cm
  • nuances: nuanced land digital collage janet botes
    Nuances: Nuanced Land
    Digital collage / 65 x 65 cm