The colour of the sea when driving back home at the end of a day in February is undefined. It needs a new word but there is no word for a colour like that at about eight o’clock on a warm summer’s evening. Perhaps it is the colour of whale songs or the colour of fish memories or the colour of a million tides collected over centuries. Imagine the voices rising and sinking to the hues of Auro Metal Saurus (nice name for a rock band), Munsell, Cool black, International Klein Blue. The colour is saturated with all the wonder of all the creatures living and dead in its depths and on its surface: crabs, amphipods, fanworms, Sargassum fish, ribbon weed…
Months later the dictionary is stained. A one legged man floats towards the rocks, the shark disappears, still hungry.
-Lien Botha, June 2012
Lien Botha, Visse vat loop op water (from the Safari series, 2003), digital archival print.
This text was produced by Botha as a contribution to Cross-Currents, a group exhibition in which her work is included, showing at David Krut Projects Cape Town, 31 July – 25 August 2012. Cross-Currents presents a selection of works that draw on ideas of the sea, literally – as in, how do we relate to the sea and how have we related to it over time – and metaphorically – what does the sea stand for and how do we extrapolate the psychological implications of the idioms that we’ve developed around the ocean.
Born in Gauteng, South Africa in 1961, Botha studied languages at the University of Pretoria and worked as a Press photographer for Beeld before moving to Cape Town in 1984. In 1988 she obtained a BA Fine Arts degree from the University of Cape Town. Since that time she has participated in over eighty South African group exhibitions and forty international group exhibitions and has held nine solo exhibitions.