Driftwood, nothing special, if you go the beach it is a common occurrence as it lazes on the shore being washed back and forth by the incoming waves. South African artist Andries Botha has taken this simple, raw material and given it a new life, transforming it into beautiful installation piece You Can Buy My Heart and My Soul (Ungayithenga inhlizyo nomongo wami in the original Africans). The work comprises of a family of elephants and is an elegant and majestic addition to the coastline of Belgium. Andries had this to say of his incredible work.
“In African mythology the elephant reincarnates carrying the soul of a murdered God. It is thus the embodiment of the transmigration of souls. It is also the metaphor for the world’s preoccupation with Africa as an exotic location. The elephant thus embodies the world’s romanticism with Africa. In part it is the Colonial panacea: wildness can be contained, civilised and taken back to the ballrooms of the First World as a trophy.”
Botha worked with a team of 10 African artists who laboured over the figures to create accurate and hauntingly lifelike renditions of the creatures which from a distance could fool anyone.