Protea Seed Husks

Online Exhibition March 2021
BEING WITH the Protea

16 January 2021

Andre’ van der Merwe

I am excited to be in the planning phase of my first online exhibition, entitled ‘BEING WITH the protea’. The exhibition follows my protea odyssey through my chief inspiration, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Goethe pioneered a truly unique way of BEING WITH and BEING IN nature. As part of the exhibition, we will attempt to describe and wrestle with the concept ‘BEING WITH’. 

How could we interpret this short, pithy statement?
What other sources could we draw from?
The BEING WITH the protea work spans 30 works in totality, which have never before been publicly showcased. The idea is not only to widen your perception with regards to the protea, to re-think your relation to the protea- but more importantly to nudge the exhibit patron to deeply consider the notion of ‘BEING WITH’.  And to consider launching your own novel project of ‘BEING WITH XYZ’.

The exhibition’s thrust follows my inspiration of Goethe who’s pioneering approach with nature disregarded upfront theory, (whilst not disregarding theory itself). Goethe cultivated a path of ‘objective less -ness’, a participation strategy without assumptions or prior judgements to guide attention. My interpretation is to work with the protea as the protea is in itself, as it unfolds, as it comes dynamically into being and as it appears in any number of circumstances or situations far beyond the very common retrieval of cut flower, however beautiful.

I hope the exhibition helps to show that we possess a deeper capacity to shift from BEING WITH self to BEING WITH other. Personally, I have found this practice a gentle and rewarding meditation. Anyone can learn from this practice, and the learning could be applied to personal and business life. 

The exhibition will be showcased via our website and through our youtube channel. Entrance is  free, signed but limited numbers of artworks will be available for purchase online.