The Breytenbach Beeld.png

In making the Breytenbach sculpture I wanted to create a feeling of nostalgia, as well as highlight the contrast between the transience of mortality and preservation. The materials juxtapose one another; the enduring nature of the cold marble cast in relation to the impermanence of the steel frame. The steel will be left to face the elments for a year as a means of recording time's passage. Next year, on the exact date of installation, the metal will be sealed so that it no longer rusts and a record will be kept of the aging process.


In 2016, Theo Kemp of the Breytenbach Centre in Wellington commissioned me to create a sculpture for their poet's garden. I was granted the freedom to use any poem as inspiration. I chose the poem '16 September 2010' by Breyten Breytenbach, because it resonated with me on a personal level and contained many evocative visual elements that would lend themselves to sculpture.


In preparation of its creation, I read the poem every day for several months, in order to internalise its meaning. Breyten and I exchanged several emails regarding the poem so that I could gain a sense of the poet and his oeuvre.


The challenge was to create a single sculpture that accurately reflected the complexity of the poem and the epigraph by Frederich Nietzsche. Of course, the sculpture also contained many of my own thoughts and interpretations that were added to the mix. 

Nanette Ranger with Breyten Breytenbach.