South African Landscape #3 – Collectors Framed Limited Edition Prints. Black & White Photograph of Fig Tree growing out of the side of a rock Koppie at Klein Bolayi. Part of a Vintage Film Collection “Shadows Over Stones”.
About this piece
2009 – Limpopo, South Africa
The One with No Hair
The Venda call this granite dome Tshamavhudzi, meaning, “The one with no hair”. The owners of the farm, where the dome is situated, and the other tribal groups in the area call it, Klein Bolayi – this seems strange! – It’s neither of Bantu origins or Afrikaans. But rumor has it, that it was used as a place for executing murderers. The method not too dissimilar to the guillotine. This makes it, the Mapungubwe Place de la Revolution.
Tshamavhudzi is a rare granite dome in a landscape littered with sandstone outcrops. The dome reminded me of a discarded WW1 British helmet, split open by a glancing bullet. Its length is around 100 meters, 40 meters high and 60 meters wide.
I was immediately drawn to its striking simplicity. On the side of the dome, a Rock fig tree, probably 800 to 900 years old stood to attention – they’re known to live to double that age. Well rooted into the bald granite, I asked myself the question – how did the Fig tree survive before reaching water? The Limpopo is not exactly Newlands, and there’s at least 40 meters of rock to get through. Also the width of the fracture suggests that the ever-expanding roots widened it.
A fig tree gene continuation depends on fig wasps, as they cannot survive without each other. Called “obligate mutualism”, Iziko South Africa Museum states that only fig wasps can pollinate fig trees and only fig trees can host the wasps’ eggs. This mutualism has evolved over 80 million years and encompasses the 750 species of fig trees; although identification of fig wasps only extends to 300 species. In addition, the mutualism narrows to each fig tree species having only one fig wasp that can pollinate it. What is amazing is that the lifespan of a fig wasp is only a few days, making the actual pollination of a fig tree quite a feat. And in the dry arid climate of the Limpopo, that’s an achievement.
Darting Black Mambas
Situated between Musina and Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape; I’d made several trips to and pass it, but all in conditions similar to hell with no shades of Nimbus. Other than transfixed chameleons and darting Black Mambas, nothing extraordinary happened – January is their breeding season. I had stood and waited for many hours in the hope of the right cloud build-up, but I was warned of marauding Zimbabwean hijackers; so I took to flash drives past. When the moment came it was quite by accident.
Returning from a shopping trip to Musina, the clouds were collecting. Running ahead of the clouds I got to Klein Bolayi ten minutes before they arrived. The clouds held out long enough for me to snap twelve frames. Then they were gone – burnt away by the sun.
Photographing on Film
The authentic nature of photographing on film is the graining that is produced in its reproductions. However this is a genuine representation of when capturing images on a Hasselblad XPan panoramic film camera.
This Black & White Vintage Film Collection “Shadows Over Stones”, was originally exhibited at Nedbank, Waterfront, Cape Town in 2012.
Collectors Print with Custom Frame: Limited Edition
Black & White printed on Ilford Baryta paper: 315 g/m² silk finish with a 1 cm white boarder around image. Complete with a Hamburgs 2 cm x 3 cm Black Stained Oak Solid Wood Frame with a 5 cm White Passe-Partout mount. Mirogard museum high quality glass. Authentication Label on back of frame with printed signature of Photographer. Authentication Certificate included.
Overall Frame Size – 69.7 cm x 35.7 cm (54 cm x 20 cm image size).
Total number of Framed Prints available in this Limited Edition print run – 10 off.
This is a “Bespoke” order.
Go to “Choose an Option” to select a Numbered Print from this Edition.