Content posted by Janet Botes

05/11/2018 - 11:20

What if one day you wandered through the forests of Eden and there were no more Loeries? This might not be such a profound thought considering that Knysna nearly lost all its legendary elephants not so long ago. The history hereof can still be found in the Old Goal where Art for Species will be hosting a unique art exhibition from the 10 th to the 30 th of November this year. The event, called VERGE, is being held in commemoration of Remembrance Day of Lost Species (30 November). It will be showcasing the work of 15 artists wanting to pay special tribute to IUCN red listed species – most that can be found in our own backyard - and the disappearing habitats that provide a home to these species. Through art, workshops, talks and other activities, we are reminded to take special care should we wish to have all our animals around in times to come.

“We hope to offer you a tactual experience of some of our local species that can be found along the Cape coast, Garden Route and the Karoo that are in dire need of conservation. By making use of various art mediums – from photography to illustrations – we hope to give you an extraordinary visual depiction of biodiversity.”
- Janet Botes

Be guided by Helena Joubert through Pledge Nature Reserve at the heart of Knysna, come see the world through new eyes and watch watercolour artist Chris Lochner paint in the moment, or renew your appreciation for nature by learning how to make your very own field guide. The art pieces will call you to do more than just stand by. Bring the kids along and get involved with some participatory species mapping and other learning experiences. Some talks and workshops are free, others range between R30-R250. For this special occasion, Dr Dave Edge from Brenton Blue Trust have agreed to give a presentation about the Brenton Blue butterfly. For the full program visit

“Through art we change perceptions and preconceived ideas about important issues, and how to deal with them. We hope this exhibition will inspire you to come up with new action-based solutions on how to better look after our vulnerable and endangered non-human species.”
- Janet Botes

A percentage of proceeds will go towards local organizations dedicating themselves towards animal endangerment awareness and conservation, such as Nature’s Valley Trust, Endangered Wildlife Trust and Knysna Basin Project. After you’ve browsed the walls, take some time perhaps to ponder all that you’ve seen – and would like to see in the future – while sipping on something from the coffee shop, a latest edition to the historical monument turned gallery. VERGE is the launch of Art for species as an initiative run by South African artists passionate about creating awareness, raising funds and inspiring action in support of animal conservation, ecosystem protection and regenerative system design. By initiating, supporting and participating in exhibitions, events, workshops, talks and film screenings with a similar cause, their aim is to help secure a biodiverse future for all. For more information follow them at