Mobile Photography & Art – ‘Intimate Interview’ with Dale Botha from Queensland, Australia
We have decided to launch a new intimate style of interview into TheAppWhisperer – the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website. We feel it is important that our community feel close to each other, as it is this support that helps us to nurture one another, gain confidence and continue to grow.
This is our eighteenth interview, to read the others, please go here. Today, we are publishing this intellectual and inspirational interview with talented mobile artist Dale Botha from Queensland, Australia.
All images ©Dale Botha
What was your childhood or earliest ambition?
To be able to draw and paint “like an artist”.
I was 8 years old and won First Prize at the Royal Agricultural Show in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. We had to paint a portrait of a friend and my art teacher entered my painting without me knowing.
Unpaid but done willingly. We lived on a farm and during the July school holidays for a number of years my Mum and I taught African children to write using a timber framed slate board. I can remember loving the feeling of the slate pencil gliding over the slate.
Private or state school?
State/Government Schools. I attended boarding school from the age of 6 as we lived on a farm, and often wonder if my self confidence would have been better had I gone home to a nurturing, loving home each day after school.
University or Work?
My father would not allow me to study Fine Arts at University as he was of the opinion that all “artists” were drug addicts” – it was after all the early 70’s! I studied at the Natal Technical College in Durban and later entered the corporate world.
Who was or still is your mentor?
My hockey coach and Geography teacher at high school taught me that giving up on anything I wanted to do was a waste of time! My Grandfather spent hours photographing little scenes in his garden and making “story slide shows” for his grandchildren to watch at Christmas time. He gave me my first glimpse of photography as a means of telling stories.
How physically fit are you?
I have always been sporty and recognise the importance of staying fit and strong especially as we get older.
Ambition or Talent: What matters more to success?
I believe they go hand in hand but not necessarily in equal measures. A dose of self-discipline and humility needs to be added to the mix.
How politically committed are you?
I do not enjoy politics but it does annoy me that adults in government behave like spoiled brats when they don’t get their own way! The professional ability to negotiate for the right reasons seems to be seriously lacking in our current world.
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
A really beautiful art room with huge windows and a view of open fields or mountains.
What’s your biggest extravagance?
My iPad Pro and Apple Pencil which have now become a necessity in my life.
In what place are you happiest?
The mountains. Hiking in the Drakensberg Mountains when I lived in South Africa always made my heart very happy.
What ambitions do you still have?
To have my work exhibited in a gallery or art show.
What drives you on?
I love experimenting and those “happy accidents” are just the best! The trick is more often than not, to remember how I got there!
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
Definitely, my three beautiful children who have blessed me with 3 grandsons and twin granddaughters. Reaching the top of Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world taught me patience and how to dig deep. Trekking to Everest Base Camp taught me that not all our dreams come true as I became very ill and had to stop and rest 2 days from Base Camp. Finally, being the Featured Artist in Living the Photo Artistic Life Magazine was a real honour and one that I am extremely proud of.
What do you find most irritating in other people?
Inflated egos, insincerity, fickleness and lack of compassion.
If your 20 year old self could see you now, what would she think?
I think she would be proud of what I have achieved so far but also disappointed that I had missed some golden opportunities along the way due to a diminished self-confidence.
Which object that you’ve lost do you wish you still had?
My fathers Brownie Camera which was stolen in a home invasion in South Africa.
What is the greatest challenge of our time?
Greed, lack of respect, effective communication and climate change politicians world-wide choose to ignore.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
Mmmmm… not sure, but having somewhere to go to after we leave this world would be great!
If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
There have been many under 5’s but lots of 10’s too. Re-locating from South Africa to Australia in late 2014, although extremely traumatic, is something I am eternally grateful for. It is all the lows in life that makes one appreciate the highs and I feel truly blessed to be able to do what I love each and every day. A very happy girl I am!
TheAppWhisperer has always had a dual mission: to promote the most talented mobile artists of the day and to support ambitious, inquisitive viewers the world over.
As the years pass TheAppWhisperer has gained readers and viewers and found new venues for that exchange. All this work thrives with the support of our community.
Please consider making a donation to TheAppWhisperer as this New Year commences because your support helps protect our independence and it means we can keep delivering the promotion of mobile artists that’s open for everyone around the world.
Every contribution, however big or small, is so valuable for our future.
Such fabulous art really should be in a show, Dale. I see it happening. I am also blown away that you climbed Mt Kilimanjaro! Not many people are able to say that. The discipline and daring required for such a feat definitely shows up in your art!
Carol De Decker
Love the style of your work. “Let it Flow – Tears for Our World” is my favourite. Really stunning work!
Love your style fellow South African