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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

THE CIRCLE OF LIFE (article first published : 2001-12-16)

Durban artist Henk Vos, well known for his paintings of racehorses, was going through a bad emotional patch when close friends encouraged him to paint a picture that “told a story”. One that rivalled his monumental The Painting of the Century which commemorated the 100 year history of the Durban July horse race.

After experimenting with various ideas, the final version eventually grew to 1 x 1,15m in size and took him about eight months to complete.

“From the moment I began working on the original painting in January 2001, the canvas has adopted some remarkably strange life forces of its own, and many events have since occurred that I personally do not understand,” explains Henk Vos.

A title that best describes this painting is The Circle Of Life as the messages it contains predominantly rotates around circular themes, among them controversial issues associated with religion and related topics revolving around war and peace, life and death, love and hate.

A discarded Volkswagen car hubcap becomes embedded in nature where it now competes for survival amongst man’s other creation – pollution, through the indiscriminate use of toxic chemicals! The world’s obsession with war is also exposed with the inclusion of the Adolf Hitler “Wanted Dead or Alive” poster. Over 160 images invite debate.

A positive note for the future is portrayed by a small dewdrop suspended from the blade of grass, hanging onto the moment when it will inevitably fall to make its small but vital contribution to plant life.

Henk Vos recently returned from a visit to America where he was invited to display his paintings in Ocala/Marion County, Florida, an area which has established itself as "The Horse Capital Of The World".




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