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Thinking stone artist on his way to Italy
2015-04-29

Willem Boshoff

Professor extraordinary at the UFS Department of Fine Art, Willem Boshoff, together with other South African artists, will represent the country next month at the Venice Biennale.

The 56th Biennale takes place between 9 May and 22 November 2015. It is regarded as the world’s most important art event, with 53 countries taking part. This year the artists will take part in the exhibition entitled What remains is Tomorrow, which will take place in the Arsenal complex in the Italian city of Venice, where it will be on view.

Boshoff was responsible for one of the sculptures known as the Thinking Stone, that may be seen in the middle of the Bloemfontein Campus, in front of the Main Building and next to Red Square.

This work consists of a 32-ton black granite block excavated from the Boschpoort stone quarry in Belfast, Mpumalanga. The block has engravings that are copies of the prehistoric rock paintings (also known as petroglyphs) from Driekopseiland (a prehistoric rock art area near Kimberley). Together with the engravings, on the front of the block, there are sand-blasted inscriptions in six languages of verses and well-known quotations that refer to the word “rock”. These inspire further thought and contemplation. Boshoff has created similar works, including Children of the stars, situated at the Cradle of Mankind.

Boshoff is also known for very innovative and conceptual works, and has created various public artworks, both nationally and internationally. His work includes commissions from the University of Johannesburg, The Constitutional Court, the Mpumalanga Legislature in Nelspruit, and South Africa House in London’s Trafalgar Square.

His work focuses regularly on relationships and social interaction. Generally, they are also the subject of subsequent discussions.       

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