Specific events can have a profound impact on one’s life and work.
For artists, life events have always been a source of inspiration.
The untimely death of a friend is a recent life event that not only shook me to my core, but also provided very clear and insistent inspiration of a recent sculpture.
My friend, James van Niekerk, was a fit, strong man in his early 30’s. Our shared passion for the martial art of jiu-jitsu was the foundation of our friendship. I remember James as a big, strong and imposing competitor on the jiu-jitsu mat. Off the mat he was one of the kindest and most caring people I have ever met.
His sudden death was both completely unexpected and unbelievable. How could it be that a man seemingly so strong and healthy, could be so vulnerable and fragile… a man so full of life, suddenly just be dead.
What I have left of James today is only memories. Memories that will most certainly fade over time. And over time, like everything, will simply disappear.
James however, will always be the inspiration of this sculpture.