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By Anina Deetlefs
Size 101.5cm x 127cm
Material Oil and pen on canvas

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About this work

Eshe, the Swahili word for ‘one who is alive,’ represents not only surviving but thriving .  She greets you with a daring stance .  Her ruby red ,tubular flowers are hidden amongst vivid greenery that  exudes life and vibrancy .

What better flower to symbolize transformation and courage  than our indigenous protea.  Many protea plants only release their seeds and produce new growth after natural fires. 

We are often faced with periods of fire in our lives where we are forced to take stock,  reassess , adapt and change  our ideas and ways in order to  move forward .

The ancient protea flower (genus: Protea) is one of the oldest flowers on Earth, dating back millions of years.

Dictionaries define the word ‘protean’ as flexible, adaptable, versatile, diverse and able to change easily and frequently .  In order to survive and succeed in life you need to have  strength, show courage and practice resilience and in certain moments be able to survive under extreme  conditions, whether mentally,  physically  or emotionally challenging, much  like the fire hardy  Protea.

Finally, the flower’s unique appearance is often perceived as a symbol of idiosyncratic beauty, individuality and courage . The ability to stay true to oneself is a noble character trait that each individual will do well to remember.

Here is to living, being able to adapt and change and to embrace and celebrate our  own individual, unique beauty and to remember how strong you are. 

Do you want to see more of Anina’s work? Come to the DUO-EXHIBITION Anina Deetlefs-Matthew Hindley in our Private Gallery.

This work can be viewed at

Private Gallery

Gallery, Heist-op-den-Berg