(Ode to my wife Yvonne de Wit who designs and create original jewellery from treasures of the South African Earth)
“The moon is bland in colour. I call it shades of grey … And to find orange soil on the moon was a surprise.” Gene Cernan, astronaut, Apollo 10, Apollo 17
When artist Yvonne de Wit came to South Africa from her native Netherlands, it was with an open mind and with what became a growing fascination in the different types of rock and soils that the southern part of this great and diverse continent had to offer.
Through experimentation, she discovered that grinding diverse stones and pieces of rock found in different locations, offered up extraordinary colours, unusual ‘dusts’ that, when framed in silver, produced jewelry that reflected the land in a very different way.
Ideally, one needs to handle each piece of her collections to see, understand and appreciate the skill with which she works. Consider her chandelier earrings, for example. The artist explains that she picked up stones, ground them finely and then felt they would work as three ‘pendants’ from the ear. But they needed to balance. If one looks at the final pieces, one will see how delicately, intricately and exquisitely each hangs, individually, from a tiny common point. They are not soldered together; each of the three pendants somehow hangs perfectly in place. And in harmony with its opposite piece on the other ear.
For the artist, this says something about nature, and our place in it. How, ideally, our relationship with soil, air and water should be in perfect balance. How delicate that relationship is. And what surprises the dust of the earth harbours for us, despite our many preconceptions. Like the astronaut who expected shades of grey on the moon — and found orange. While Yvonne has an innate connection to the soil beneath her feet, she recognises that water has an inevitable and appealing connection. During whale- watching in Hermanus one year, she was fascinated not just by the creatures themselves, but also by their habits. The result? Her finely crafted ‘whale’ pendant. No, it is not the animal itself she has re-created (although many might think so). The artist was entranced by the very fine combination of water and air, expelled from the blow-hole as the whale rises to the surface and exhales. Yvonne has captured a moment essential to life on earth — exhalation before inhalation.
Every now and than our street functions as a race track. Although 40 kmh is the speed limit and with stop signs at a few crossings there are always those people who don’t care. This picture shows a suppliers truck chased by a pick-up truck (‘bakkie’) with farm labourers crowded in the cargo-hold. It was about 6:30 in the morning and the speed measured between point A and B was approximately 70 kmh. Oh … and the dust? It’s a dusty gravel road. We don’t mind about gravel; it’s life in the country side but it seems that not all people have respect for that….
I don’t reblog the beauty of others on this blog for I want to keep it to myself. But…. I see so many beautiful pictures of others that I really would like to share with the world.
That’s the reason I started an additional blog with ‘my choices’ or photographs/postings of other bloggers. “MY CHOICE” is the name of this blog and it’s my window to the world out there.
Personally I think that some photo’s get far too many likes (including ones I post) and others far too less. The general taste rarely goes beyond the average snapshot(-like) picture or like an extra-ordinary one because of the (PR) story with it. Not too far from the place I live is somebody with a camera with front shutter who publishes his pictures on one of the social networks. Every now and than this photographer has trouble with sand or dust that influences the shutter times etc. resulting in blurred images, sometimes partly over exposed and so on. These images are accompanied with stories a ‘normal’ human being won’t believe but the ‘sheep’ do and his pictures are getting the ‘likes’. He ‘elevated’ himself to ‘Art Photographer’ … well that’s fine with me… 😉
There is plenty of real talent out there; yet to be discovered. This new blog is a homage to all those undervalued photographers and bloggers. Indeed …. I am jealous of you guys!!! An old African proverb says that “Jealousy is an ungranted tribute” but I’m Dutch in South Africa and that’s different… 🙂 🙂 🙂