Daleen Roodt

Botanical Artist and Scientific Illustrator

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Origins

As a self-taught artist, Daleen’s botanical art journey has developed organically, from starting in 2008 doing scientific illustrations for the University of Pretoria, to creating more traditional botanical art, with her main focus on indigenous orchid species. Her meticulous eye for detail and a scientific understanding of her subject matter, underpins her accurate depictions, yet transports her work to becoming a lyrical portrayal of her experience and interaction with the plants she sources in nature. She currently resides in Hillcrest, Kwazulu-Natal.

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From Cambodia to Namibia

Due to her varied scope of work, Daleen has been commissioned to a range of interesting and diverse projects. Some prominent projects include a two-year consignment to capture the indigenous flora of the Francolin Conservancy, leading to her first solo exhibition in 2012. She was also commissioned to travel to Cambodia as inspiration to portray the ancient mystique contained in the forest temples. From capturing wildflowers of southeast Botswana, to illustrating a multitude of grasses and other plant families for the National Herbarium of Namibia, there has never been a moment shy of inspiration. Her journey has led her to illustrate scientifically and artistically for journals, books and field guides, wine labels, calendars, and wallpaper. She has work culminating to large collections of indigenous tree species and has enjoyed a collaboration with Wild Magazine for over 7 years.

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There is a certain allure to being completely surrounded by nature – to be consumed by the vastness offered by an endless landscape of forest, valley or mountain slope. Then, finding a delicate little orchid, easily overlooked where it grows tucked between wild grasses, overwhelms me with an ecstasy, a realization of the essence of my passion. ‘Entice me with your beauty’, my mind says.

It is this experience that I try to capture, right there, surrounded by the sounds and smells of a drizzle, a breeze, a baking sun. These sketches made in situ aim to capture something of the soul. Reworking these impressions into final illustrations allows me to relive the encounter, to preserve it for anyone who will see.”