Sylvia is a great friend to Fire Island Conservation founder, Bob Koski, and she inspired him to travel to South Africa many years ago. Already spurred by Sylvia’s stories, Bob fell in love with South Africa and spent a lot of time there. During one of these visits, Bob learned about, and eventually purchased, Ilha do Fogo.
Soon after visiting Ilha do Fogo, Bob pledged to protect the island’s marine life from destruction by poachers. Thus, Fire Island Conservation was born. We will always be grateful to Sylvia for being the driving force behind Bob’s first visit to South Africa, ultimately leading him to Ilha do Fogo, and the establishment of our eco-retreats.
Bedridden but defiant
In 1994, the world almost ended for Sylvia. She suffered a debilitating condition that paralysed her and led to months spent in bed. During this time, she longed to inspire others around her. She defied the doctors, and eventually recovered from her illness, to focus on her art. This is when her work flourished.
Sylvia’s depictions of nature evolved into unconventionally colourful pieces, clearly representing her passion and adoration for the subject matter. She is renowned for capturing the souls of her subjects, and you can perceive the emotion centred on the eyes in her paintings.
Sylvia de Villiers has exhibited in the United States, South Africa, Austria, Holland, Germany, and Australia.