South Africa Art Scene: Pretoria artist creates one-off sculptures by manipulating light
A South African artist is manipulating light to create one-off sculptures. Lothar Bottcher uses little-used techniques such as grinding and polishing of glass to CREATE his unique pieces of art works. CGTN's Yolisa Njamela shines the light.
Lothar Bottcher uses glass to manipulate light. To create another dimension to entice the viewers to look through the glass and see the adjoining space within and beyond. That way - stimulating thought and awareness, trying to make sense of the universe and our place in it.
LOTHAR BOTTCHER ARTIST "Glass and light are married. It's through the glass that we see the world outside while we drive the car, so glass lets the light through. But the way that I use the glass, I grind and polish facets and the way that, that glass reflects and retracts the light is part of my tool that I use. Changing maybe perceptions of the here and now."
Bottcher says in this age of digitized mass media and the constant consumption of second-hand experiences, people often miss the details. So with his sculptural endeavours, he attempts to bring this experience of immediacy back into our lives.
Everything here is handmade.
LOTHAR BOTTCHER ARTIST "Because everything is made by hand. My process is I start with a block. I cut it with a diamond sword by hand, I grind and I polish everything by hand. So they are not one unique although I do have series, like my skull series that I'm working on and I've got my rock bottoms. They follow a similar theme but they all different explorations into the theme."
Outside of glass, Bottcher uses other mediums including local materials.
LOTHAR BOTTCHER ARTIST "I use sandstone that comes from where I live, where I grew up. It's part of the Magaliesburg range which is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world on our planet and the sandstone has, over and above the fact that it's old, has another peculiar aspect to it, it is the origins of glass. So over the years and over the eons, the sandstone erodes into sand and sand is the main constituent of glass."
Bottcher is so keen to ensure that what he calls glass community grows here in South Africa.
LOTHAR BOTTCHER ARTIST "South Africa has got a very small glass community if you compare it to Europe and the USA. I think China has got a growing appreciation for it with the Shingai museum of glass that opened a few years back. But all in all, I think the future has a lot of possibilities for the handmade glass industry, so we have to work hard and I think the results will show."
Bottcher's glass gear is also in great demand.
YOLISA NJAMELA PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA "Glass has been part of Bottcher's composition for over two decades. He now has several awards behind his name and is likely to get more and more awards as his work is quite popular. Yolisa Njamela, CGTN, Pretoria, South Africa."