Dorothy Clark was born in 1951 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She was raised in Zambia and schooled in Zimbabwe. Her schooling continued at Rhodes University in Grahamstown where she obtained a MA in Fine Arts, graduating in 1974.
Dorothy’s oil on canvas works feature trees, plants, bushes, succulents, and landscape elements rendered in a way that speaks to the highly realistic, but enhanced with a painterly, expressive looseness of brush that allows her artistic personality to come through.
The images represent, in some cases, what we would consider to be disasters in nature, but as Clark states, it is important to remember that in nature it is just an event. Nature compromises, recovers and moves on in a way that is far beyond humankind’s ability to do so. In fact, nature usually takes advantage of these events. Clark’s subject matter can be defined here as heroism in nature.
Heroism in this context implies survival, or just plain perfection. “The design of the aloe is so perfect it has lasted 4 million years as far as we know,” says Clark.
The admiration and respect that she has for these plants is echoed not only in the enormous scale she has chosen to represent them, but also in the fact that she remembers each individual plant painted here. Clark can recall the address of each plant, and it is represented as a unique individual, not a generic.
Her beautiful images reflect Clark’s passion for nature, her abilities with a paintbrush and an unusual approach to the personalities of plants.