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Skylights of the Hyde Park Shopping Centre
Hyprop Architects
Design assistant – Karen Boshoff

Skylight  1 - 7
Medium: Stencilled text on oven baked glass

Words in the sky

  • As a conceptual artist Willem Boshoff works with words, their sounds and shapes, creating art works which engage with particular social contexts through language. The installation of visual or concrete poetry above is Skylight 1 of 7, spread across Hyde Park Centre’s ceiling.


    Looking up, quiet white clouds of words bring a moment of contemplative relief to loud branding  at shop-level. Above, the larger words in black - their meanings unfurling playfully - evoke the desires and fears that are part of the ritual of shopping, whether driven by passion or necessity.  Notice for example the word  Bibliomania, an inordinate obsession to possess books, even books not needed.


    All these words originated from the artist’s Dictionary of Intense Love, intense Hatred (?) rare words describing collections, phobias, aversions, manias and addictions, which is available free of charge at the information desk


    Note: Other examples of words to be placed on plaques beneath each of the 7 panels as Bibliomania above (core text above repeated for each one):

    agoramania  An inordinate obsession to be in open spaces. 
    demomania An intense obsession or desire to be in a crowd
    doromania An unusual urge or preoccupation with giving gifts
    enomania, oenomania An extreme craving for wine. Quite a few wine shops are called enomania. In Greek oeinos is ‘wine’. 
    hylomania An inordinate craving for material possessions
    kainomania, kainolomania An inordinate obsession with new trends and possessing the very latest things and novelties; a mania for change
    mageirocophobia A frightened, anxious state at the thought of having to cook. Some mageirocophobes fear having to cook for large groups of people, others can’t even prepare a sausage for themselves
    luposlipaphobia A fear of being pursued by timber wolves around a kitchen table while wearing socks on a newly waxed floor, invented by Gary Larson for his Far Side cartoon.
    felinophobia The tendency to fear cats desperately and to avoid them at all costs; ailurophobiagaleophobia. They are scared of contact with the cat at all, that the cat will nuzzle, rub up against them, or jump in their lap. 
    gynotikolobomassophilia A passion for fondling women’s earlobes. 
    ergasiomania, ergomania A restless desire and insane compulsion to be continually at work. ergasiomania is also a particular desire on the part of a surgeon to operate at every opportunity, whether or not the operation is indicated or justifiable 
    dromomania An inordinate obsession to travel, also called the fugue. 
    callomania An indescribable attraction to people or objects because of their beauty alone, without regard for other qualities 
    casadastraphobia A fear of falling towards the sky, possibly the most unusal of all phobias 
    chronophobia Extreme fear of duration – that there won’t be enough time for something; an obsession to be on time
    cigrinophily The passionate collection of cigar bands; brandophily
    chrysophilist, chrysophilite One with a passion for gold

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