By Yolanda Wessels

As a sculptor, Adele Bantjes’ journey has been a unique and deeply personal one. Working with driftwood, clay, coral, seashells, and pebbles, she has found a beautiful harmony between nature and art, creating fantasy creatures that come to life through her hands.

She says it all began with a stroll along the breathtaking beaches of Die Dam, a seaside holiday resort nestled in the serene beauty of the Overberg in the Western Cape of South Africa. The tranquil sound of the waves, the salty ocean breeze, and the ever-changing landscape of driftwood and beach treasures ignited a spark of creativity within her.

“I found myself drawn to the weathered, sun-bleached driftwood, each piece telling a unique story of its journey through the ocean. The shapes and textures of the driftwood inspired me to see beyond what was there and envision what could be. This phenomenon is known as pareidolia, the tendency for the mind to perceive a familiar pattern where none exists. From this, I discovered that within the twists and turns of the driftwood, an array of fantasy creatures emerged in my mind’s eye.”

Combining these natural treasures with clay, coral, seashells, and pebbles, she began to breathe life into her creations. Mermaids adorned with seashells, angels with billowing driftwood wings, birds with intricate coral details, and animals crafted from pebbles and clay emerged from Adele’s hands, each one a testament to the beauty of the natural world.

For Adele, the process of sculpting is a dance between the found and the made. She is a steward of the beach, carefully selecting materials that have been carried and shaped by the ebb and flow of the tides. “I strive to honor the inherent beauty of each piece of driftwood, respecting its history while infusing it with new purpose and meaning. As I continue on this artistic journey, I find myself endlessly inspired by the ever-changing gifts that the sea bestows upon the shore. Each day brings new treasures, new stories to be told, and new creatures waiting to be brought into existence. My work is a celebration of nature’s artistry, an homage to the delicate balance between man and the environment.”

She hopes that through her sculptures, she will impart a sense of wonder and reverence for the natural world, inviting others to see the beauty that surrounds us and encouraging them to find their own creative paths. For her the beach is not just a place of leisure; it is a boundless wellspring of inspiration and a canvas for her imagination.

“In the end, my journey as a sculptor is one of connection: to nature, to art, and the untold stories hidden within the driftwood. It is a journey that continues to unfold, guided by the ever-present call of the sea and the endless well of creativity that resides within us all.”

The post Creations from the sea – By Yolanda Wessels appeared first on The Home Of Great South African News.


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