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Sibonelo Chiliza Prints

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Sibonelo Chiliza completed matric in 1998 and in 2000 enrolled at the Durban University of Technology to study Textile Design and Technology; he was unable to study Fine Art, as the high school he attended did not offer art as a subject. He completed his three-year diploma in 2002. It was during his second year of study that he was noticed by an ex-lecturer, artist and mentor Jean Powell, when his class was looking for textile design inspiration in the Durban Botanical Garden. It was the first time that Chiliza drew plants in colour and Powell saw the potential in his work. In 2004 he did a three-month internship at the botanical garden in Durban, which led to him meeting the well-known botanical artist Gillian Condy In 2005 Sibonelo Chiliza did a six-month internship at the National Herbarium under Condy. This was converted into a one-year contract with the African Plants Initiative where he managed the scanning and data basing of the SANBI Pretoria art collection.

"I do botanical art because I can draw. I have been lucky; one door has opened another for me. At an exhibition at DUT I saw that I could sell work and make money from my art". He adds that he is one of only a few men who do botanical art in South Africa (on the 2010 Botanical Biennale held at Kistensbosch he was one of four men out of a total of fifty one artists exhibiting) "possibly this is because men do not have the patience required!"

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