“Art is contemplation. It is the spirit that penetrates nature and divines the spirit, which animates it. It is the joy of intelligence that sees the universe clearly and recreates it and illumines it with conscience.”
My aim in sculpture and graphics is to create an image which is derived from nature and the human form, which themselves reflect the creators stamp and image. Because we are human, we see and judge things from our human perspective, and we manipulate our surroundings for our own purposes through art, architecture, engineering, mathematics and the other disciplines.
I seek to create a true art form. Inner feelings and emotions do play their part, but like all else in creating art, in my case, primarily sculpture, they must be subjected to the discipline of creating a true art form, above and beyond feelings and emotions.
Unless it proceeds from the creative spirit, the world fails. Life itself provides the driving forces for creating art; birth and death, love, joy and suffering, bereavement, happiness, sensuality, faith, religion, peace and war – all that moves and stimulates us – these are the forces that drive the creative spirit from which art proceeds.
The artist must never lose a right balance between tranquility and tension, between spontaneity and struggle with the material, for an art work to stimulate and survive as art. In an interview I once had with Dr. Anton Rupert in Stellenbosch I asked him why he had become drawn to art in its many forms. His reply was that art opened up a new world for him, giving him a fresh perspective and providing an added dimension to his life. This is what the artist strives to achieve, and from each positive response the artist receives great encouragement.
Thankfully, I have received a great deal of encouragement in my artistic career, which is a great stimulus. I have also encountered a great deal of prejudice. Bigoted prejudice is the death of art.
Sculpture is the most difficult art form for people to understand. People more readily understand music: next would be painting and then drawing and graphic work, and last of all is shape and form. The artist never copies nature, but re-interprets and reuses it. It is a slow process – Bill Davis
- 1933: Bill Davis was born in Assam, India
- 1951 – 1953: Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town, South Africa majored in sculpture under Professor Lipshitz. (Certificate in Fine Art, December 1953)
- 1955 - 1957: Rijks Normaal School, Opleiding tot Tekenleraren, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- 1957 – 1962: Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Majored sculpture under Professor Esser.
- 1963 – 1965: Art Master at SACS, Cape Town, South Africa (part time)
- 1966 – 1968: Lecturer in sculpture, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town, South Africa.
- 1966 – 1971: Lecturer in Life Drawing, School of Architecture, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
- 1971: Working full time as a sculptor.
Amsterdam: 1961,1962 and 1966
Cape Town: 1963,1964, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1976, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1989
Worcester: 1964,1972, 1977, 1979, 1984, 1988 (x2)
Stellenbosch: 1968, 1981, 1997
Durban: 1979 (shared)
Bellville: 1983, 1986
Port Elizabeth: 1990
Holland, Canada, Republic of China.
Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Kimberely, Paarl, Bellville, Worcester, Stellenbosch, Oudtshoorn, Plettenburg Bay, Onrus River.
- Graphic Art prize, Cape Salon 1963: Thames and Hudson Award
- Sculpture prize Breweries Competition 1966
- Sculpture Prize, Cape Art 1967
- Works represented in the South African Biennale 1964 & 1968
- Works represented South Africa Bienal de Sao Paulo 1965
- Presentation medal for Cultural History Museum, Cape Town (1966)
- Presentation medal for South African Breweries prize (1966)
- Presentation medal for Ingrid Jonker Literary PRIZE FOR Poetry (1966)
- Presentation medal for South African Association of Arts (circa 1970)
- Presentation medal for the South African National Gallery (1976)
- Sculpture for Sanlam, Bellville (1967)
- Bas Relief and Fire Screen for KWV, Paarl (1968)
- Bas Relief for Heerengracht Centre, Cape Town (1969)
- Het Molen Water monument, Stellenbosch (1976)
- Wall Relief, Nico Malan Theatre Centre (Artscape), Cpe Town 1970
- Nurses Brooch for Eben Donges Provincial Hospital, Worcester (1979)
- Trophy for United Building Society (1980)
- Sculpture Pioneer School for the Blind, Worcester (1981)
- Portrait of Nico Malan – Nico Malan Theatre Centre, Cape Town (1981)
- Five Story relief and mobile installation, Old Mutual, Pinelands (1992)
- Sculpture for Femina/Nedbank Woman of the ‘90s award (1990)
- Portrait of Nelson Mandela for the Mandela Rhodes Foundation (2008)
COMMISSIONS FOR PLACES OF WORSHIP
- Sculpture St Mathew for St Mathew’s Church, Kimberely (1962)
- Processional Cross for St Stephen’s Church, Pinelands (1966)
- Altar Frontal for St Faith’s Church, Plumstead (1969)
- Sculpture for St Thomas’s Church, Rondebosch (1977)
- Prayer Room Doors for the University of Cape Town (1977)
- Sculpture Madonna and Child for St Bernard’s Church, Newlands (1978)
- Crucifix for Durbanville Catholic Church (1980)
- Stations of the cross for St Cyprian’s Cathedral, Kimberely (1993)
- Stations of the Cross for the Church of Ascension, Klein Drakenstein (1998)
- Madonna and Child acquired by the Church of the Annunciation, Paarl (1998)
- Sculpture Madonna and Child for St John’s Church Bellville (1998)
- Sculpture and reliefs for the Church of the Annunciation, Woodlands (1998)
- Sculpture and reliefs for St Francis Church, Strandfontein (1999)
- Crucifix for St Peter’s Church, Hermanus (2000)
- Christ Figure and Madonna and Child for Volmoed, Hermanus (2001)
- Black Christ for All Saints Church, Zwelihle, Hermanus (2003)
- Medals, portraits and free-standing sculptures.
- Work in private collections in South Africa, Netherlands, England, France, Switzerland, Australia,
- New Zealand, U.S.A., Canada and Israel.
National Gallery, Cape Town; Pretoria Art Museum; Sanlam Collection; Rembrandt Collection; Old Mutual, Pinelands; University of the Western Cape; Mayibuye Archive Centre; Robben Island Museum; Hugo Naude Jean Welz Gallery, Worcester; Sasol Art Museum, Stellenbosch University; Hester Rupert Art Museum, Graff Reinet.
Artist: BILL DAVIS
Title: Lovers '76
Size: 30 x 40 cm
Media: Pencil and Goauche
Price: R 8 500 Unframed