Chris Lochner

Artist's statement and description:The Strap lichen (Ramalina calicaris) is found all over the beautiful milkwoods in the forests as the air here is very pure. They continue to fascinate me with their subtle colours, their strange structure, and their interesting story. They are symbiotic conglomerations of three organisms, an algae (plant), a fungus and a yeast. An interesting example of cooperation, rather than competition, as driving force of life in the environment. They are very sensitive to air pollution and are so considered valuable indicator species.

The Sugarbush (Protea repens) also grows in the area and the base of the dry seed capsules are just lovely with their spiral geometry. In this painting I included the different phases of the flower as they close after fertilization and can remain closed on the bush for a long period of time until fire stimulates them to open and release their seed.

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