top of page



Edition size: 40

Printmaker: Tim Foulds

Measurements of framed work: 1370mm (width) X 1100mm (height)

290 English/Afrikaans words composed to resemble a wall of bricks

Word Woes I

  • History

    In May, 2011, I visited Stellenbosch to discuss the envisaged Twenty exhibition with SMAC Gallery. Painfully aware of the squabble over Afrikaans as a language of prerogative at Stellenbosch University, I proposed an artwork consisting of one word that makes some sense in both the English and Afrikaans languages, but of which the meanings in the two languages differ significantly. That work was BOOM. I envisaged this work to be a big gabion wall (a bulky wall made up of stones stacked in wire baskets) in which two different coloured stones would be so stacked as to spell out the word boom on both sides of the wall. The wall would be placed in Jonkershoek, a get-away nature reserve where romantic couples often enjoy sanctuary in the shadows of large trees and the spellbinding vistas of mountain cliffs. The wall had to be large and inviting enough to serve as a refuge for amorous kisses. The word boom, in English, is rather onomatopoeic and spells out the noise of exploding bombs, as