So much information has been lost because it was not recorded. Think of the centuries of medical knowledge carried verbally through the San Bushmen that may be lost due to the breakdown of their societies as people are urbanised.
One of the most thrilling aspects of recording plants by drawing and painting them on archival paper with good pigments, is the possibility that they may survive for a very long time indeed, giving future viewers a glimpse of the current natural world.
The exhibition at UCTs Irma Stern Museum “Flora Old & New” shows botanical art from plants collected by explorers of centuries ago, alongside contemporary works, featuring SA indigenous plants. Artworks on acid free paper survives if it is looked after. Who knows if the digital scans of today will be too primitive to read in the future? Or perhaps too advanced?