The Melrose Gallery – One&Only Cape Town

Work for this exhibition, 100 Images of South Africa, actually started 25 years ago. All this time I have been nursing and nurturing this idea of bringing a collection of images together showing, mostly, unheralded, and unheroic places of South Africa. The humble, the unspectacular, the largely overlooked.


But each image has touched me personally. Many are located in the surrounding areas where I live.

Some I have driven past, many times. Subliminally they have etched their character into my mind.

Humble and unimposing at first glance I have strived to put them in the spotlight. This is what has kept me loyal to the project for all these years. Essentially it is the opportunity to take these rather prosaic images and transcend and transform them with bright and radiant colours and have the chance to take them to a new place of illuminated stature.

There is something truly exciting about transforming the drab into something that can boast a new presence.

Over the years I have bonded with these simple images. They have become indelibly imprinted in my soul. I have tried to work out why they have earned my love and respect. The mystery remains unsolved, but I do know how I relish producing them. They have become my family.

Sadly, many of the places I have chosen to paint do not exist anymore. They must have stood proud at some stage of their existence. Their owners must have been brave and optimistic.

I have tried to show this in this body of work.

Initially, I thought the etching technique would serve this project well. I soon discovered the demanding and time-consuming labour involved in producing 4,500 prints would be counterproductive. I had to find a more direct and ‘easier’ way to produce this vast amount of work.

After much trial and tribulation, I came up with a technique (allied to etching) wherein I would use a metal plate on which the drawing was photo sensitised. On this plate, the positive drawing was reversed to the negative. Simply put the background of the drawing on the plate could now be etched away leaving the line drawing standing proud. This meant I now could now roll the black printing ink on and produce a relief print.

This relief print enabled me to produce a more rugged ‘strong’ and robust print.

Ultimately when the entire collection is completed it will comprise 4,500 prints, each of the 100 images having an edition of 45 each and 10 Artist’s proof each.

Each print is individually hand-coloured. The process involves initially printing a black-and-white print and then laboriously hand-painting it with oil colours. When the hand colouring is complete the work is then printed again with black ink.

Much thanks must go to my loyal and dedicated partner and assistant Jennifer Saunders aka Jennifer Spencer Christian for helping me so faithfully produce this large volume of work.


50 Paintings of South Africa will run at The Melrose Gallery at One&Only Cape Town from 16 December until 26 February 2023. For more information visit


Paul Blomkamp (1949-) is a South African artist who works from his studio in Rivonia Gauteng.

A near-death experience resulting from Legionnaire’s Disease in 1979 left him with an acute interest in Quantum physics.

His artworks embody his search for the all-encompassing ‘Electric Essence’ that pervades all that exists. Bright electric colour is the benchmark of all his works.

Blomkamp designed and made many large modern Stained-Glass windows for over 25 years. This included windows for many secular buildings, private homes, churches, and Synagogues including

St Stithians College (22 windows), State Theatre in Pretoria, Rosebank Union Church 60sq m, Civic Centre Methodist Church 60 sq metres, Absa Bank Headquarters, Johannesburg.

His artworks grace many private and corporate collections around the world, and he has had several solo exhibitions including the Goodman Gallery and The Melrose Gallery.

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