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Stanley Grootboom



Type of book work: Unique / sculptural book-object (one-of-a-kind)
Dimensions: 115 x 530 x 350
Media: Mixed Media - old tin sheets (with illustrations in oil paint), wood and antelope skin

Artist's / designer's statements

This 32 page book is made of old tin sheets, wood and antelope skin. This material I collected from the villages where the storytellers and village musicians live.

My art takes a critical look at social and cultural issues in a South African context. My foremost concern is about the epidemic which is sweeping across the country (South Africa) and especially rural villages where entire villages are demolished to make way for new development. Local folk have lived for over a hundred years in some of these villages. Preserving the awareness of the fragility of these villages and how their disappearances will drastically alter the country's character is a matter of great concern. The destructive epidemic known as the teardown trend in the states not only erodes the historical character of small communities, tearing social fabric and transforming neighbourhoods, but they results in the loss of historic architecture and heritage. I focus on vanishing villages, the people and cultural heritage.

I use a variety of materials for my projects. Mostly material collected from demolished houses and villages. I interview the elderly, record their music and stories and use it for my art projects. Each project often consists of multiple works i.e. tin books, tin guitars, music boxes and oil paintings of ordinary villagers. During research new ideas arise that leads to the next project.

The art book tell the story of a the coming of age of a KhoiSan boy more than 300 years ago in the Tsitsikamma. Most coloured people living in the Tsitsikamma are direct descendants of the KhoiSan. Stories such as the one in my art book is told by the elders around a fire made in a tin container.

I record these stories and music to create an awareness of a vanishing culture and preserve it for the next generations. An academic article on this book appeared in the South African Journal of Art History volume 29 number 4 2014.



Dip. Drawing and painting (Home Study College of SA)
Dip. Business Management (BMTC)
Dip. Computer Literacy (BMTC)


Lipschitz Gallery
The World Cruiser
King George VI Art Gallery
Northwest University Gallery
Grahamstown Festival Provincial Exhibition


High Commission of Malaysia
Chinese Consul General of the People's Republic of China (Liang Shugen)

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