Wilna grew up on a farm in the Limpopo savannah. Her father encouraged her to understand the botany of the veld and indigenous flora. In 1998 she decided to practice botanical art as a keen hobby, which developed into a full-time pursuit. She attended botanical art workshops with James le Roux and master classes with Jenny Phillips. Her medium is water colour with specialisation in indigenous trees and plants.

Her work has received various degrees of recognition at various Kirstenbosch International Biennale Botanical Art Exhibitions, i.e.: 2004 – Bronze; 2006 and 2008 – Gold and 2010 – Silver. Her work Haworthia coarctata subsp. coarctata is now permanently housed in the Hunt Institute for Botanical Art at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA. Wilna undertook the artwork in the “Field Guide to the Orchids of Northern South Africa and Swaziland”. A number of paintings are housed in the Firstrand Corporate Art Collection, too.

Commentators have stated that artists like Wilna are truly pushing the boundaries and her crispness of vision is matched by a technique that intensifies every image. Also, “there is an extraordinary complexity within the simplicity of my botanical subject matter and that is the gift which commands the viewer to look again." Wilna comments “My desire to focus on a specific aspect of my subject is a microcosm expression representing a layer of the whole. My paintings are extremely intimate”.

Copyright © 2009 Wilna Eloff. All Rights Reserved.