“Since a young age, I’ve been fascinated by rock pools. I remember trying my best to catch tiny silver slivers, darting from side to side to escape my orange net. Jewel colours and funny shapes captivated my imagination. Creatures and corals, a world of beauty unseen, hidden to us above.
But hardly did my fascination include kelp. Kelp, good old seaweed, was merely an irritation. Washed ashore after a storm, it stole my spot on the beach. Floating in the water, it entangled me.
Then I encountered the Sea Change Project – and I was captivated, once again. Their work of highlighting kelp forests as one of the great natural wonders of the world opened my eyes to the mystery of Phaeophyta, a marine algae belonging to the same family of organisms as moulds and amoebas – and vitally at home in cold water. Re-discovering the rhythm of nature is what draws kelp-preservationists. Also, a yearning to recover a deep connection with nature and ourselves, lost because of the way our lifestyle has evolved.
An astonishing number of marine species flourish in kelp forests, but their survival is threatened, as only 0,4% of South African oceans are protected. Then there’s climate change, causing elevated sea temperatures, harming the growth of kelp and threatening biodiversity. While providing food and shelter to a myriad of creatures, kelp forests also act as giant water purifiers, taking it all in their sway. And, by the way, that jar of salad dressing in your fridge or pot of paint on the garage shelf – that’s kelp helping make your life a little lovelier. Welcome to a forest full of wonder, where the mystery keeps unfolding.”
Seeking God and Beauty in everyday life has taken Cape Town artist Paula Dubois on a journey of discovery and transformation since a young age. Inspired during her school – and student years by passionate art lecturers at respectively Pro Arte High School and the University of Pretoria, Paula learnt how to use art as a medium to communicate God’s love for people. After obtaining her BA (BK) Information Design degree, she joined the international missions organization Youth with a Mission for 4 years – a cross-cultural adventure which took her to places all over the world.
In 1999, Paula entered the field of print media-design. She’s worked as graphic designer, art director and illustrator at various titles, including House & Garden, Sarie, Leef-met hart & siel. She’s currently freelancing in the magazine industry while pursuing new creative challenges as a fine artist.
Paula recently did an asemic writing workshop under the guidance of acclaimed calligraphists Heleen de Haas and Leesette Turner. As a result, she has (temporarily, at least) exchanged her paint brush for leaves, sticks, seeds and found objects to put ink on paper. This brings an uncontrolled element, an exciting new freedom to her work.
Paula and her son, Sebastien, live in Oranjezicht, close to mountain and sea – both a constant source of wonder and inspiration.