1. Why did you choose the theme – The Anglo-Boereoorlog?
It serves as the backdrop to the theme I was primarily interested in, and because my forefathers fought on both sides, I felt I could approach it in an unbiased way.
2. How did you come upon the idea of painting about the war?
I watched some footage about the lives of civilians during times of conflict. It made me realise that there are no winners in war, only losers. So I wanted to create fictional characters set in a war environment to demonstrate this.
3. What is your favourite part about the Anglo-Boereoorlog?
The courage, on both sides, shown by young and old alike.
4. What was the purpose of painting parts of the Anglo-Boereoorlog?
I chose to use certain invented narratives to depict the emotions of individuals. I hope that in seeing the collection, the viewer is drawn into the tragedy of the war.
5. What is your favourite part in learning the Afrikaner culture?
It is the strength found in standing your ground against all odds.
6. Why did you choose Afrikaans for you work?
It is part of my heritage. I am half Afrikaans.
7. Why did you feel it necessary to bring out a book with your work?
The book was brought out by the owners of the collection. They felt that it was a unique view of the conflict. Something worth recording for a wider audience, who would otherwise be unable to see the paintings.
8. How much research did you do about what you were going to paint?
Certain research had to be done to make the images convincing to the viewer. But I avoided historic research, because I was inventing so much that was of anecdotal intent.
9. Did you look at pictures of the landscapes, while painting?
As a landscape painter, where it was relevant I approached the project as usual, but was careful to keep the sense of place that my work is known for. Making the protagonists part of the landscapes was the challenge.
10. Where did you find your inspiration?
Inspiration for something like this is a gradual and evolutionary thing. The works were done over a three year period, and the more I got into it, the more my mind came up with the various elements. Each painting leads me to the next. I guess I was inspired by the endless possibilities.
11. Do you listen to Afrikaans music?
No, I don’t. I listen to a variety of western music genres from classical to contemporary.
12. Who is your favourite Afrikaans musician/singer?
I know there are very good ones, but I don’t know who they would be.
13. How do you feel about your work getting such a good and welcoming reaction?
Naturally I am thrilled. Who wouldn’t be? It is a most gratifying thing. Any doubts one accumulated over those three years are wiped away.
14. What is your favourite Afrikaans phrase?
“Aanhouers wen” and any swearwords you can think of. They are far more expressive than anything in English.
15. What is your most favourite thing to do in your spare time?
Anything I can share with my wife Gillian.