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Friday, December 20, 2019


(Andries Botha)

Acclaimed Durban-based sculptor Andries Botha has just released what he describes as a “book(let)/calendar” titled Andries Botha's Elephant Book.

Botha has always used his art to comment on the social and political challenges of his time. He also has created works on a variety of themes, including the co-existence of humans with other life forms, creativity, citizenship and lifelong learning.

He well-known locally for the debacle that erupted around a sculpture that he was creating for the eThekwini Municipality in 2010. Work was halted because the design was said to be too close to the logo of a political party. The sculpture was to be a group of elephants. After several years of negotiations, a somewhat altered design was agreed upon and Botha once more began work. In the meantime, much of the framework which he had installed had been stolen and sold for scrap metal. The sculptures were also damaged with red and black paint.

However, they now stand resplendent at the side of the freeway going into the city centre.

Botha has won several awards for his art, including the Volkskas Atelier Merit Award in 1987, the Cape Town Triennial Merit Award (1988), the Standard Bank Young Artist Award (1990) and the National Vita Art Award (1992).

Botha explains about the book: "I never really wanted to make a book on my work. Well, not yet anyway. I saw it as a moment in the “inevitableness” of acceptance, resignation, to aspects of my artistic and otherwise decline. Books on or by living artists are always premature, precocious. A posthumous one, yes, then there is truly nothing left to add to a long story that is one’s life. That is the perfect book that speaks of beginning, middle and then, end - preferably when I am not here to know that I should not have said what I just have.

“So ... Now I am inviting you to do just that. To read a “sort of “book(let) about an aspect of my work. Elephants. I have tried to make it “special”. In part, to achieve this I will sign and authenticate every copy purchased. All of this would not have happened if not for the prompting and encouragement and assistance of a lot of people. Their names are listed. And some who are not. The production costs are sponsored by the Human Elephant Foundation ( I wish to thank them.

“The story of elephants are important to all of us. Combining a book with a calendar suggests to me that on every day of every month, at least for year 2020, you will think of elephants, at least daily. Reflect on these extraordinary mammals who, for now at least we share space with, in Southern Africa

“Supporting this purchase will not save elephants or the planet but hopefully will prompt you to consider what it will mean and take to change how we live on and in this beautiful planet, to begin to change our poor industrial habits and to realise that it is our responsibility to give something more living and sustainable to our children and theirs,” Botha concludes.

The cost of the book is R250. This signed limited edition silkscreen print can also be purchased with the book R500

(Right: The limited edition silkscreen print)

Postage in South Africa is R99 (aramex) -

EFT information
South Africa
Acc name: Dipco
Bank:  Nedbank
Branch: Musgrave 130-126
Acc number:  1301208647
Ref:  Elephant book

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