Beauty in a Blade of Grass

All life starts with and is sustained by grass. A photographic exhibition that starts next week Monday, focuses primarily on this fundamental biological fact.

Grass appears to be such a simple plant but it is in fact a complex organism, forming part of a complex ecology that support all other life, from bacteria to termites to animals to people. The wonder of grass is portrayed in a photographic exhibition by local artist, Marita van Rooyen. All the prints are done in so-called cyanotype, one of the earliest photographic mediums used to capture and document flora in 18th century Britain.

Announcing the exhibition, the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre said “The award-winning Namibian writer, photographer and self–taught cyanotype artist, Marita van Rooyen, will leave you appreciating our natural indescribably magnificent, mysterious and awe-inspiring world with her alternative photography exhibition, Beauty in a Blade of Grass.”
“Grasses are the unglorified heroes of our existence. With over 390 different species recorded in Namibia alone, it forms the basis of vegetation over great expanses of our planet. Not only does it serve as fodder for animals, as building materials or thatching for houses, protect the soil from erosion, and clean the air, it also provide around 50% of all human calorie intake through foods such as rice, maize and wheat.
“Unfortunately, with our ever-increasing world population, many wild areas are sacrificed to make space for human development, often with a complete disregard for the indigenous vegetation and its impact on our daily subsistence.
Beauty in a Blade of Grass is an exhibition of cyanotypes, one of the earliest forms of the photographic medium, used to document flora in 18th century Britain. The exhibition captures the fragility of an essential part of our existence often overlooked, and highlighting our natural heritage and the importance of preserving it for future generations.
Eleonora Duse mused “If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the field has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.”
Van Rooyen’s exhibition teaches us to to appreciate our natural surroundings as a mysterious, awe-inspiring and indescribably magnificent world in itself.


Cyanotype Photograph Exhibition at the FNCC glorifies heroes of our existence – Grass
Opening: Monday 13 July 2015 at 18:30
Venue: La bonne table restaurant at the FNCC
The exhibition is free and runs until 01 August.