“In Botha’s work, geography and soul are chartered on the same map. This is the contemplative life as road movie, where details one might consider trivial, the moment-to-moment dislocation of daily existence contain hidden epiphanies“ (Miles Keylock, Mail & Guardian). With a career spanning more than 30 years, Lien Botha is one of the few South African artists who have experimented extensively with the photographic medium beyond its documentary frame. Refusing and evading photography’s traditional tie to the empirical relation of truth, Botha creates instead enigmatic images that play on the ways in which we experience and construct reality and place.
In addition to her photographic practice, Botha is active as a lecturer, curator and novelist. She was the winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award in 1997 and has received international residency grants from various institutions including the San Francisco Art Institute and the Ampersand Foundation in New York. To date Botha has held fourteen solo exhibitions including Wonderboom presented by Barnard at 1-54: Contemporary Art from Africa in London in 2016. Her work has also been selected for inclusion in survey exhibitions at prestigious public venues in many world cities including London, Paris, New York, Berlin, Brussels and Lisbon. The artist’s work can be found in all the major public collections in South Africa as well as at Wellesley College, Massachusetts and the Natural World Museum in San Francisco. In 2016 Her limited edition book entitled Yonder (Published by Barnard Gallery, 2014) was added to the collection of the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.