Local botanical artist, Margaret de Villiers has once again made headlines with her outstanding entry at the recent Royal Horticultural Show in London, where her panel of endangered local Ericas won a Gold Medal. This was one of only thirteen gold medals awarded to contributors from around the world and reflects the outstanding quality of her work, in which every detail is captured with extreme precision. Mags recognises the importance of faithfully recording these beautiful flowers and the work is further enhanced by reproducing exquisite photomicrographs of the flowers’ internal make up*. She paints under a magnifying glass and each work can take months to complete.
We are truly privileged in Hermanus to have such a dedicated person in our midst and her work will always remind botanists and artists of the true value of good botanical art, where realism is all important, but where, in Mags’ case, each picture is also beautifully composed. They are a joy to see and I reproduce part of her panel below.
*The detailed dissections are produced by Pat Miller who uses her botanical skills and a microscope to produce the photomicrographs that Mags then paints.