Although raised in a conservative Afrikaans household, it was only in 1971, while studying at the Johannesburg College of Art, that Willem Boshoff became interested in the Jesus movement. Inspired by its restorationist theology and promotion of ascetic values, in 1973 he briefly dropped out of art school and became a full-time lay preacher. Christian faith has often surfaced as a subject in Boshoff’s masterfully crafted sculptures. This work was produced during the dissolution of his marriage in 1985. It is one of a pair of bowls produced by the artist, although the other bowl was only fully completed in 1997. The bowls were initially intended as receptacles for the large hot cross buns eaten during Easter.1 This bowl features a cross form in its construction, a symbol of Christ most obviously, but also in the artist’s view suggestive of “the lacerations on the body after a whipping”.2
1 Siebrits, Warren. (2007) Willem Boshoff: Word Forms and Language Shapes, Johannesburg: Standard bank Gallery, p. 66.
2 Ibid., p. 66.
Accompanied by the Standard Bank Gallery, Willem Boshoff: Word Forms and Language Shapes 1975-2007 exhibition catalogue.
Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, Willem Boshoff: Word Forms and Language Shapes 1975-2007, 25 September to 1 December 2007, illustrated in colour in the catalogue on page 67