"An Important Tree in Helspoort"

In this large work Hodnett depicts the Euphorbia as Tree of Life under a darkening Eastern Cape sky. The tree is however surrounded and threatened by invading prickly pear cactus (introduced into Southern Africa from Mexico) and appears to be dying. These and other important conservation issues are central to much of the artist's work of this period. 

Thirty kilometres north of Grahamstown on the road to Cradock, the rocky outcrop in Helspoort, as it appears in the background, was the source of inspiration for a number of drawings, paintings and photomontages. Hodnett often conducted outdoor drawing sessions for his students in this dramatically primeval part of the Eastern Cape landscape.

This painting now hangs in the Stottelaar Collection in Australia.

Signed lower right.  Size: 180 cm. x 150 cm.  -  71 in. x 59 in.

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