Claire Linder

Biography Claire Linder

Born in 1954 Pretoria, South Africa.

Education: BA, University Natal, Pietermaritzburg.
Classes for botanical Illustration von Katie Lee (USA) und Jenny Phillips (Aus).
Profession: 1977 – 1979 Freelance botanical illustrator and part time work at a Gallery inJohannesburg.
1980 – 1981 Artist at the National Botanic Gardens, Pretoria South Africa
1982 – 1985 Freelance artist at the Royal Botanic Gardens,
Kew, London.
1986 – 2003 Freelance botanical illustration in South Africa
and Zürich.

Exhibitions in South Africa and other parts of the world.
Winner of the Royal Horticultural Society gold medallion 1985 and the BAASA silver medallion 1995.
Founding member of BAASA ( Botanical Artists´Association of South Africa).


Curtis´s Botanical Magazine (UK).
Flowering Plants of Africa (SA).
Veld and Flora (SA).
P Linder and H Kurzweil, Orchids of Southern Africa.
D du Puy and P Cribb, The Genus Cymbidium (UK). Various scientific journals.


The Blue Train (SA).
Brenthurst Library Johannesburg (SA).
The Hunt Institute, (USA).
Parker Collection (SA).
The Veld Collection (Paintings on porcelain)
Private collections in South Africa and other countries.

Exhibitions in Switzerland

Galerie Sanitas Kilchberg 2009
Galerie Nordstrasse 2010
Bank Linth, Rapperswil 2010
Dow Europe, Horgen 2011
Sonjart Gallery, Rapperswil

After thirty years as a botanical artist in South Africa and Great Britain I have spent the last few years deliberately breaking away from the constraints of precise painting and finding my way with a much freer approach. It has been a very experimental period in determining my preferred medium and style as well as an intellectual challenge interpreting my ideas on canvas. To this end I formed a discussion group with other artists in Zürich under the guidance of Serge Pinkus, teacher at the Zürich School of Art.

Expressing myself visually is an intense drive. The meeting of brush and canvas is a highly sensual act and is an affirmation that self which responds intensely to form, colour and shape. I am also fascinated by the myriad complexities of our world, the juxtapositions and contradictions of life which at a times can seem so absurd. It is all these elements that keep me constantly rising to new challenges.

Initially I found myself still dragging around the weight of so many years spent living in a politically charged environment. The resulting artworks were heavily narrative and I realized that they were tapping into and reinforcing a very negative and cynical side of me. I needed to step out of that trap and take a different path, that of integrating ideas without being didactic and boring.

The ‘Movement’ series allowed me to do this and at the same time brought with it a fascination for the transient. Light moved and played along with the dancers; the beauty was in the moment. The ‘Shorelines’ series again plays with the theme of what is there, not there and what is imagined while bringing in related subjects such as death and renewal, the ‘order’ of nature, its daring creativity and variety of detail. Another source of inspiration has been poetry by the likes of Rainer Maria Rilke, AR Ammons , Wallace Stevens, TS Eliot or John Norris :-

‘How fading are the joys we dote
Like apparitions seen and gone.
But those which soonest take their flight
Are the most exquisite and strong,—

Like angels’ visits, short and bright;
Mortality ’s too weak to bear them long.’

John Norris


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