Willie Botha is a Hermanus based sculptor who began his journey in art before the age of 18. Circumstances lead him away from gaining formal training in sculpting, yet his passion for art had him taking short courses at the Pretoria Technicon and selling his first bronze sculpture at the age of 18!
He opened an architectural model business to fund his sculpting and worked on big hotel projects producing a variety of pieces from decorative lamps to elephant heads. This work helped to inspire the foundation, structure and technique that he applies today.
Five years ago Willie became a full-time sculptor. His foundry is in Hermanus and his gallery is currently the Hidden Valley wine farm between Stellenbosch and Somerset West where his work is exhibited. Hidden Valley uses Willie’s bronze work as a logo and this can be seen on most of their products.
Historically artists have been sharing their art as a form of upliftment for mankind – characterising them as givers rather than takers. Willie has helped the charitable community project LoveAbility in Hawston with the making of soap moulds which are used by people with disabilities to created soaps for the hospitality industry in an effort to generate income.
During the annual Hermanus FynArts Festival in Hermanus Willie partnered with Creation Wines in Hemel-en-Aarde to showcase his work. His sculpted creations are still on exhibit with a replica of his Ramona statue welcoming guests on arrival.
Seeing Willie’s creative work and hearing him talk with so much passion is truely an inspiration.
“Art is from within, not from the senses” – Willie Botha
Thanks to Lauren Weir, student at the University of Stellenbosch, who co-authored this blog.