Andries Botha, an artist from South Africa, has created incredibly lifelike sculptures of elephants throughout his impressive career. He is known for blending traditional elements with raw materials, such as driftwood, to produce magnificent works that resemble these majestic creatures. One of his most notable public installations, titled “You Can Buy My Heart and My Soul,” was first displayed at the second Triennial of Contemporary Art by the Sea in 2006 in Beaufort. This installation features a family of elephants gracefully wandering along the coastlines of Belgium, showcasing Botha’s extraordinary talent for bringing his creations to life.
Andries Botha collaborated with ten African artists to meticulously sculpt beautiful elephant figures, resulting in lifelike renditions that effortlessly deceive onlookers with their striking realism. The sculptures are made from driftwood and layers of wooden plates securely fastened to a metallic framework, similar in construction and materials to Heather Jansch’s driftwood horse sculptures. However, the purpose and message behind Botha’s elephant sculptures differ. Through this installation, Botha aimed not only to represent the elegance of these magnificent animals but also to highlight the significance of perseverance demonstrated by these tireless creatures and the tremendous labor invested in each and every figure.