Local South African Artist Hannetjie de Clercq

#1 untitled - Tempera on canvas 305x230mm
#1 untitled – Tempera on canvas 305x230mm — click any image to enlarge

Recently I came across fabulous local South African artist Hannetjie De Clercq. She lives and works in the quiet and peace of Riebeek-Kasteel, a rural town in the Western Cape of South Africa just 85 kilometres (53 miles) north-east of Cape Town. Take the N7 highway to get there.

“She feels that an over explanation of her work would render it impotent and therefore does not title her work. For her, the beauty of art is in the interaction of the viewers with their subjective personal view with a specific painting, to find meaning in the imagery.”
Hannetjie de Clercq website

The artist has a unique style, strongly sensual and inspired by middle-age frescoes and icons. The preferred medium is mainly tempera and also oils and watercolours on canvas and board. As you can see from the excerpt above, all her work is untitled (see 13 images or click here for Flickr slideshow).
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Sunset On The Bot River Estuary

Sunset on the Bot River Estuary
Sunset on the Bot River Estuary — click to enlarge

Just minutes after sunset and two hours after high tide, the skiff in the middle distance lies in shallow water about 50 meters (165 feet) off the shore line.

The estuary mouth is on the horizon to the left. Another beautiful sunset in paradise!

The Bot River Estuary lies on the southern coast of South Africa, in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, 160 kilometers (100 miles) north-east of Cape Town.

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Neil Armstrong Standing On The Moon

Neil Armstrong standing on the surface of the moon
Astronaut Neil Armstrong standing on the surface of the moon — Credit: NASA/AFP/Getty Images (click to enlarge)

Astronaut Neil Armstrong (1930 — 2012) died on Saturday at the age of 82.

He will be remembered as the first human to set foot on the moon, landing on July 20 1969.

“I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine.”
— Neil Armstrong

The Apollo 11 mission came at the height of America’s Cold War with the Soviet Union.

While the bloody Vietnam war was in full swing the moonwalk lifted Americans with a sense of euphoric achievement and a surge of patriotism.
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Local Artist Joshua Miles Creates With Reflected Light

caledon-bull
Caledon Bull — Artist: Joshua Miles (click to enlarge)

Local artist Joshua Miles was born and raised in the Western Cape where he attended the renowned Michaelis Art School of the University of Cape Town.

He met his Scottish wife in Hermanus, and after living in Scotland and London for several years, returned to South Africa. He now lives and works in Baarskeerdersbos near Hermanus.

Joshua drew early inspiration from art historian and artist Elsa Miles. As a child he watched her producing woodcuts and was taught the technical aspects of the medium by Cecil Skotnes at Michaelis Art School.

Joshua’s skillful interpretation of shadow and the effect of light on water is featured in many of his oil paintings and reduction woodcuts. He finds his inspiration in the beautiful landscapes of the Overberg and Little Karoo (See 16 Images, or click here for Flickr slideshow).
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Architects Design Transparent House in Tokyo – Could You Live In This?

This revolutionary design was commissioned by a Tokyo couple and was conceived by Japanese architects Sou Fujimoto

The footprint is just 914 sq ft (85 sq meters). The architects have managed to elegantly combine 21 floor plates positioned at various levels and connected by a system of stairs and ladders that create an easily accessible, light-filled space.

The house is surrounded by homes of a more conventional design in a quiet neighborhood of Tokyo. At night curtains provide some privacy as you’ll see in the short (3:27) video above (5 photographs).
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Can South Africa Win Gold Again At The 2012 Chelsea Flower Show?

Model of South Africa's 2012 Exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show in London
Model of South Africa's 2012 Exhibit to be created at the Chelsea Flower Show in London. With members of the Kirstenbosch team, from left to right: Sarah Struys; David Davidson; Kuphumla Zenze and Alison Pekeur -- click to enlarge

For the 37th year South Africa’s National Biodiversity Institute will exhibit at the famous Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show, taking place in London from 22 to 26 May.

“We wanted to give people the sense of an arrival at a destination. We have to come up with a new way of representing the country every year. This year, each scene is a different place in South Africa.”
— David Davidson, Designer.

Chances are good that South Africa will win gold again — for the 33rd time.

Designers David Davidson and Ray Hudson have come up with an innovative and exciting concept which is designed to showcase South Africa’s rich floral heritage on the one hand, and on the other, South Africa’s cultural “Rainbow Nation” diversity.
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14-Year-Old Real Estate Investor Buys Bank Repossessed Home

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14-year-old Willow Tufano is co-owner of this $100,000 value Florida home — Image: Chana Joffe-Walt/NPR — click to enlarge

This heart-warming story caught my attention. Good news is scarce in real estate, today.

With the US sub-prime crisis in 2005 an unprecedented real estate tsunami signalled the start of a worldwide recession. It was a phenomena known as the United States Housing Bubble.

Real estate markets everywhere went into free fall, a decline that may only now be bottoming out. Bank repossessed properties, or foreclosures, went through the roof and may still be on the increase.

Whenever clouds are about, sometimes, we’ll find one with a silver lining. 14-Year-old Willow Tufano from Florida was in the right place at the right time when a $100,000 value, 2-bedroom, home became available on an auction for just $12,000. Her mother, a Florida real estate agent, went into the deal with her on a half-share basis.
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Ethiopia: King Solomon The Queen Of Sheba And The Black Jews — Part 2

Ethiopian black Jews making aliyah or ascent or going up to the Land of Israel
Ethiopian black Jews making aliyah or 'ascent' or 'going up' to the Land of Israel

In Part 1 we tell the little known story, with roots that reach back to the time of Abraham, of the union of the great King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

In Part 2 a promise is fulfilled. They are welcomed by the Jewish state, like prodigal sons returning to the land of Israel.

The first modern contact with the Ethiopian Jews was by Scottish explorer James Bruce, who was searching for the source of the Nile River.

Early one morning in the late 1940s, an elderly Ethiopian Jew stood with his young grandson at the top of a small mountain, waiting for sunrise. As the sun broke over the horizon, the old man, pointing toward the sun, said, “Remember, this is the way to Jerusalem.”
Shmarya Scott Rosenberg

When Bruce came upon the ancient Jewish community of Ethiopia at Gonder In 1769, many had the sign of the crucifix tattooed on their foreheads to signify their link, as messianic Jews, to Christianity. The Beta Israel population at that time was estimated to be about 100,000 souls.
Continue reading “Ethiopia: King Solomon The Queen Of Sheba And The Black Jews — Part 2”

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Ethiopia: King Solomon The Queen Of Sheba And The Black Jews — Part 1

King Solomon receives the Queen of Sheba
King Solomon receives the Queen of Sheba. This beautiful example of medieval stained glass dates from 1180AD and is the Second Typological Window in the north quire aisle of Canterbury Cathedral — Image: Sacred Destinations

The modern history of the Jews in Ethiopia begins with the reunification of Ethiopia in the mid-19th century during the reign of Theodore II. At that time the Jewish community, known as Beta Israel, numbered between 200,000 to 350,000 people.

This little known story, with roots that reach back to the time of Abraham, starts with the union of the great King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. In Part 2 a promise is fulfilled. They are welcomed by the Jewish state, like prodigal sons returning to the land of Israel.

The name Beta Israel originated in the 4th century AD when the community refused to convert to Christianity during the rule of Abraha and Atsbeha

Perhaps the earliest Hebraic people came to the land of Ethiopia during the time of the prolonged drought and famine in Canaan at the time of Abraham (1812-1637BC).
Continue reading “Ethiopia: King Solomon The Queen Of Sheba And The Black Jews — Part 1”

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Gold In The Sky At Sunset On The Bot River Estuary

Sunset On The Bot River Estuary
Sunset On The Bot River Estuary -- click to enlarge

Here on the southern tip of Africa it’s 7:50pm and the sun is sinking on the beautiful Bot River Estuary.

One can just make out the estuary mouth at extreme left on the horizon.

The estuary mouth remains closed to the sea for long periods, sometimes years, before it opens naturally to start a new breeding cycle for the many species of fish that populate the estuary.

Image: John L Bradfield

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