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artist wim botha explores transformation of light in exhibition

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wim botha'Time Machine', 2012: wood, paint and fluorescent tubes

Light is remarkable. It can blind, amplify, encourage and destroy. For something so intangible, it can have a massive impact. Light and how it transforms is the subject of renowned South African contemporary artist Wim Botha's latest exhibition. On display at Norval Foundation from Saturday, 29 September 2018, until 24 January 2019, Heliostat:Wim Botha brings together key works in the artist's career.

the theme

What unites Botha's pieces in this exhibition is the concept of refraction, which splits light into a visible rainbow when it passes through material such as glass or a prism. Botha uses this principle both literally and metaphorically. In the literal sense, the artist applies dichroic filters to glass surfaces throughout the exhibition and, on the metaphorical plane, he transforms and manipulates canonical artworks and symbols of Afrikaans identity.
'Prism 10 (Dead Laocoön)', 2014: bronze and wood

the work

Botha transforms familiar symbols and icons, suggestive of the artist’s ambivalence towards European and Afrikaans culture, in which he is at once deeply invested, but of which he is also critical in terms of South Africa’s colonial and apartheid histories. It is with this state of mind that he continuously searches for a visual language that articulates the contradictory, complex nature of being human. As a keen pupil of the history of European art, Botha has wrestled with the legacy of seminal art objects from antiquity, the Italian Renaissance and the Baroque throughout his career, searching for their relevance within a contemporary South African context.

the launch

At the opening of Heliostat: Wim Botha, the artist will take part in a panel discussion with art critic Liese van der Watt, writer Ashraf Jamal and curator Owen Martin. This will be happening on Saturday, 29 September, at 4pm and will be followed by a reception. The exhibition runs until 24 January 2019.
Contemporary South African Artist Wim Botha.

'Commune Onomatopoeia', 2003: wood, stonecast, etchings and stained glass windows.

'Study for the Epic Mundane', 2013: books, wood, steel rods and hardware.

'Joburg Altarpiece', 2009: linoleum cuts.

'Mieliepap Pietà', 2004: maize meal and epoxy resin.