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Born in Paarl (1921 - 1997)

Her love of plant life began at a young age, as she producd her first botanial paintings, studies of flowers sbe colleted at Bain's Kloof, at the age of 9.

She attended highschool at La Rochelle in Paarl, upon graduating she pursued her passion for botanical art at the Mowbray Teachers Training College in Cape Town. She declined an offer to work as botanical artist at the National Herbarium, Pretoria in 1946, to continue her art studies at the Royal Academy in Stockholm, Sweden.

After returning to South Africa on the completion of her studies she pursued a career in education. She was the principal of the Hugo Naude Art Center in Worcester, principal of Stellenbosch Art Center, an art lecturer at Cape Town Trainings Center and at the Tygerberg Technical College.

She retired from teaching in 1980 and devoted herself to her second career as a botanical artist. She provided illustrations for books on the flora of South Africa and took part in 8 solo exhibitions and at least 20 group exhibitions in various countries.

Her work was exhibited by the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation in 1988, the Audubon Naturalist Society and by the Naturalist Center at the Smithonian Museum of Natural History, in 1989. Latest exhibitions in Stellenbosch, August/September 2013: SASOL Museum and The PJ Olivier Art Centre (honouring their first principal during the 60 years anniversary celebration)

She was married to the artist Appie van Wyk and they had 2 daughters (both of them professional artists) and a son (a professor in botany at the University of Johannesburg )564+


Elise Bodley died at her home in Bellville on 4 August 1997.


Awards and honours:

1988: First place, Professional Class & Best Art Form, by the National Capital Orchid Society in Washington

1990: Recht Malan Gold Medal for her paintings in Bulbuous Plants

1991: Cynthia Letty Gold Medal, The Botanical Society of South Africa First Annual UWC Wildflower Calendar, 1984 and others 


First Annual UWC Wildflower Calendar, 1984 and others 

Proteas: A Fine Collection of Prints (with Ben-Erik Van Wyk), Clifton Publications, 1985

Niel Du Plessis, Graham Duncan, Bulbous Plants of Southern Africa: A Guide to Their Cultivation and Propagation, Tafelberg, 1989

West Coast splendour : a layman's guide to the wild flowers of the Saldanha-Langebaan area / Weskus prag, Caltex Oil Suid-Afrika, 1990

Ernst van Jaarsveld, Ben-Erik van Wyk & Gideon Smith, Succulents of South Africa: A Guide to the Regional Diversity, Tafelberg, 2000

Ernst van Jaarsveld & Daryl Koutnik, Cotyledon and Tylecodon (Paintings by Elise Bodley and Lisa Strachan), Umdaus Press, 2004


Title: Hill Valley
Size: 46 x 28 cm
Media: Watercolour
ID: 26063
Price: R 8 000 Framed
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