Wonderful news for the preservation of our rich Karoo Heartland culture and heritage is the newly formed Walter Battiss Foundation in Somerset East.
Walter Battiss was a South African artist, who called Somerset East and Karoo his home, and is generally considered the foremost South African abstract painter, known as the creator of the quirky “Fook Island” concept.
Born in 1906 in Somerset East, Battiss travelled extensively and his open-minded approach perhaps shocked more conservative viewers in his lifetime. He has been described as the “gentle anarchist” with a joy of life, appreciation of beauty and sensual treatment of the human form.
The Foundation wants to ensure the Walter Battiss legacy in perpetuity, and become a self-sustainable entity. The foundation is inspired by what Battiss stood for, and wants to create an awareness within an individual to be able to express themselves through art. The Walter Battiss Art Museum boasts the largest permanent exhibition of his artworks.
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