Burden II

Artwork Description

Bronze on Granite base
Edition of 12
1550 x 1900 x 500 mm

A nude male figure stands, posture bent, carrying a large wooden beam. His arms are stretched to their maximum distance, trying to support the beam, however he simply can’t reach the full width despite his greatest efforts. He also cannot balance the beam perfectly; it’s slumped angle indicating the difficulty. His expression shows the strain his body feels under the tremendous weight. The degrees of various angles of the sculpture hint at the obliquity of earth’s tilted axis of rotation.
Sourced from a historic, 1600’s building in Loop street, Cape Town, the beam is now immortalized in bronze. There exists an inescapable co-dependency between man and beam, individual and environment, intrinsic and extrinsic.
The sculpture recalls the myth of Atlas; shouldering a great burden for eternity. Atlas was tasked with holding up the sky on his shoulders, and thereby became the figurative axis around which the heavens revolve. Similarly Burden II, controls the pivot of the beam, and thereby influences the universe around him. The angles of a sextant are also subtly referenced as a tool of measurement of one’s location, relative to other celestial bodies.


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