by Llise Dodd

I have always worked with landscapes and gradually the landscapes I painted became not only a representation of our physical, but also of our spiritual environment.  The world around us is constantly changing, and I think a landmark is the one thing that represents a point of recognition which helps to structure our environment.

These days words like ‘resilience’, ‘cross-roads’ and ‘well-being’ are often used. There is also a lot of talk about identity, belonging and growth and the importance of the selfie-photograph possibly reflects these issues. We are also challenged with, among other things, climate change, mining, war, lack of leadership and vision, leaving the landscape scarred and stripped. How are these issues of our environment mirrored in our being? How can a landmark, often an object of sentiment, contribute to our perspectives, our existence and survival?  Is there not a responsibility resting on our shoulders to be a landmark?

Through this body of work, I explore the significance of a landmark as a symbol of guidance on our life’s journey and I hope that, through engagement and shared stories, we can shift obsolete boundaries. I work in acrylics and use different supports, depending on the subject matter. Realistic landscapes with surrealistic and symbolic elements weaved into it form the foundation on which I build a narrative.


Llise Dodd grew up in a small village, Wittedrift, in the Bitou Valley, Southern Cape and she currently lives and works as a full-time artist on a farm in the Elands River Valley in the Eastern Cape.

Llise studied musicology at the University of Port Elizabeth and taught music for two years before enrolling for an art course at the late Susan Barnard’s Knapp Art School in Uitenhage. Having majored in ethnomusicology, she also applies interdisciplinary methods in her visual creations. Landscapes, often incorporating surrealism, are a favored subject matter.

Llise has held seven solo exhibitions and has participated in over 100 group exhibitions. Her work has been included in the coffee table book Art and Artists of the Eastern Cape and has been used on the cover page of the book Lockdown Letters. She has been part of the Spier Arts Trust’s Creative Block project since 2016 and was one of four South African artists chosen for the Nando’s Creative Exchange 2021. She was selected to be part of the “Celebrating Eastern Cape Art” exhibition in 2022 and the “Celebrating Pemba” exhibition in 2023 at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum.