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Artist's 'tree babies' cause controversy

The artist displays her porcelain sculptures of babies with missing limbs in an oak tree.

The artist displays her porcelain sculptures of babies with missing limbs in an oak tree. Picture: Renee de Villiers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Local artist Karin Lijnes says she is disappointed in her community for showing intolerance by taking down her five porcelain sculptures that used to have a home in the Noordhoek Common.

Lijnes used a 100-year old oak tree as an art gallery and placed her baby doll sculptures on the trunk.

She says the artwork, aptly named Tree babies, was created in an attempt to create wonderment and generate thought.

But the artwork that was displayed for four months faced criticism from the Noordhoek Common Committee who allegedly said the 'babies', which had missing limbs, appeared to be something from a horror movie.

The committee subsequently requested Lijnes take her sculptures down as she did not request permission to showcase her artwork in the public area.

But she says her creations created no controversy and in her opinion, the committee's reaction was sudden and unexpected.

Common community chairperson Chris Strangeways Dixon says the committee will establish a team to organise the Noordhoek Common Art Festival that will look to display the artwork of local artists.

"We were thinking the artwork could be put on display for five to six weeks as long as it doesn't damage the living things on the common."