31 January 2020 | Story Rulanzen Martin | Photo Supplied
Willem Boshoff
Prof Willem Boshoff is an enigma. An academic, researcher, and artist whose artistic work cuts across many disciplines.

The B1-rating that Prof Willem Boshoff recently received from the National Research Foundation (NRF) is an ode to academic practitioners in the arts who, according to him, seldom receive such high ratings.  With this rating, Prof Boshoff is regarded as an internationally recognised researcher who is a leader in his research discipline. 

Prof Boshoff, Senior Professor in the Department of Fine Arts, in the Faculty of The Humanities at the University of the Free State (UFS), is a world-renowned artist, academic, researcher, and generalist who hopes that this rating will assist with future efforts to raise research funding. “Most of my artworks involve long-term archival research across a range of disciplines such as music, botany, visual arts, philosophy and more,” he says.  

Apart from his interdisciplinary research, he also donated the Willem Boshoff digital research archive to the Department of Fine Arts to make his research process ‘internationally accessible and ongoing.’ 

“I am encouraging its expansion through other artists donating their research, and support from the NRF could bolster such an initiative.”  He is also hopeful that this rating could open the door to NRF rating for staff in the arts within the Faculty of the Humanities at the UFS. 

Prof Willem Boshoff created the Thinking Stone sculpture in 2011 as part of the Lotto Sculpture-on-Campus Project. 

In addition to his research endeavours at the UFS, Prof Boshoff has initiated several new student projects within the Department of Fine Arts. One of these initiatives involves a week-long land-art project at Modern Art Projects SA (MAP SA) in Richmond, Northern Cape, for first-year Fine Arts students.  “This collaboration with MAP founding director, Harrie Siertsema, is developing from strength to strength and merits to be securely funded well into the future,” Prof Boshoff says. 

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