Calendar 2023 – a year in the making
Lourens River rises in a spring in the Hottentots Holland Mountains. It flows . This sparkling, gift bears a message of life through nature reserves, farms and parks – through two towns then flows over the beach into False Bay.
The Lourens River needs care
Most in our town don’t notice river. Some find it convenient for squatting. To others it is an inconvenience, rather to be confined to a concrete canal. Yet others view the river as a source to be plundered. With these watercolours and the wanted to highlight the beauty of the river.
The watercolours were used in the 2023 calendar to appreciate the volunteer Lourens River Conservation Society, founded in 1980 to work to preserve the Lourens River in as natural a state as possible and to clean the river, remove alien vegetation, and educate the public.
Collecting the visual material was a significant part of the project. There are places along the river that are magical in their beauty. Vergelegen Estate welcomes guest who want to walk along the river. And one of the residents at Hathersage Farm welcomed me onto the property. But it is remarkably difficult to gain access to the upper reaches of the river. To get material for my paintings of the source I hiked over the ridge from Jonkershoek in Stellenbosch and down the Lourens River gorge.
Also, some areas along the river are dodgy – not places to be after dark. In Victoria Park people sleep along the river bank. Even the community under the bridge on Main Road in Somerset West present issues. I have once been accosted and came close to being robbed passing the area on foot just after dark.
Here the watercolours I created: