Sas Kloppers Artist
My academic background includes ethnology and archaeology as fields of study.
My art: Interpretive African art, also realistic works.
My medium: Mixed, also using natural materials.
After almost 30 years of researching, reading and traveling to some of the most remote parts of among others Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya, to visit the indigenous people, I wanted to share aspects of their cultures, in particular that of the Bushman/San, not via the written word, but visually, to inform and engage in dialogue. This set me on a lifelong journey of discovery of the myths, beliefs and rituals that governed their lives.
I allow myself the following philosophy: “Like the people of Africa moved through the land, discovered it and made it their own, I want to journey through their legacy, discover it and visually portray aspects thereof.”
It is essential that my visual interpretation be based on thorough research. To be able to understand the texts, one needs to have a concept of time and space; what was the African landscape like before the arrival of other populations. Added to this, surely the most important requirement is to have an understanding of the cosmology of the people, an all-inclusive, holistic view of the world. This has lead me through the disciplines of archaeology, ethnology, new-psychology, anthropology and history.
My art is based on three aspects, namely myths, rituals and beliefs, and I also endeavour to encapsulate the colour and rhythm of Africa. In creating my art lies the challenge of a spiritual transcendence to the landscape of and life in a bygone world.
After the success of my first exhibition entitled “Transforming the oral into the visual”(inspired by the rock art of the Brandberg) on invitation by Die Muschel Gallery in Swakopmund, Namibia, I realised that I was entering a field that needed more exposure. More exhibitions followed, and I felt rewarded by the growing interest and appreciation that my art created for our African cultures.
Now, when I take brush to canvas I realise the journey has merely begun. Then I feel like old Mapote, one of the last Bushman/San artists, who had been on the run his whole life and eventually found shelter in the Maluti Mountains, when he was asked by Marion Howe in 1930 to paint again: “He had thought asking an old friend to join him … ‘I will ask,’ he said, ‘I will ask…’ Then he took his hand from his eyes, looked at me and said, ‘They are all dead that I could ask.’ ”
The world that research had opened to me and using the information to create works of art brought me a treasure of experience and enriched my spirit and my life. I always heed Credo Mutwa’s words: “Beware, the past is watching you!”
- 1999: Pretoria Art Association
- 1998, 1999 & 2003: Roodepoort Museum, Folklore Fantasy: Transforming the oral into the visual
- 1999: Die Muschel, Folklore Fantasy, Swakopmund, Namibia
- 2000: Dusk Exhibition, Groot Marico
- 2001: Die Muschel, The Land and its People, Swakopmund, Namibia Opened by Governor Sam Nujoma
- 2001: The Whale House, Folklore Fantasy, Hermanus
- 2001 & 2002: Volksblad Arts Festival, Folklore Fantasy, Bloemfontein (guest artist of NALN)
- 2009 GR von Wielligh’s 150th anniversary, The influence of Von Wielligh’s and WHI Bleek’s texts on my work, NALN, Bloemfontein (guest artist)
- 2011 Paul-Jacques Art Gallery, Pretoria
- 2016 Opening of Exhibition of my work FOLKLORE FANTASY by Prof Sello Seanego at Elno Art, Centurion, Pretoria.
- 1990 Die Muschel, Folklore Fantasy: Transforming the oral into the visual, with Frans Claerhout, Steven Townley Basset and Joan Schrauwen
- 2000 Art and Images, Maun, Botswana – Opened by President Ian Khama
- 2000 Jan Cilliers Laerskool, Johannesburg, with Hennie Niemann and Frans Claerhout
- ARC (Agricultural Research Centre) – Irene, Pretoria: 12 works on indigenous cattle in early Africa; presented to the representatives of 12 nations attending the International Meat Symposium
- Cape Union Mart: a series of designs for garments based on Bushman/San mythology
- Logo for SEMDSA (Society for Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes of SA)
- Alexander Forbes; three works on African folklore
- Hatch International; two works on African folklore
- Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Johannesburg
- The Spiritual Society of Colorado, USA, Dream and Reality, Bushman/San mythology
- A series of nine works on Bushman/San folklore for private ethnological collection, Germany
- ESCOM, Randburg
- Bloemfontein Arts Festival (two in succession) – part of NALN programme
- Roodepoort Cultural Centre
- Roodepoort Museum in collaboration with the National Cultural Museum, Pretoria
- Pretoria: ARC, International Meat Symposium SA
- Kimberley Art Festival
- GR von Wielligh 150th anniversary (The influence of his writings on Sas Kloppers’s work)
- RSG (Radio Sonder Grense, South Africa) and NBC (Namibian Broadcast Corporation)
- Printed media: South Africa and Namibia
- Interview with Mining Weekly
- KYKNET; Groot Ontbyt; 13 April 2017
- KYKNET; Groot Ontbyt; 20 April 2017
- Pretoria FM; interview with Elsje van Jaarsveld 23 August 2017