As a child of the 70s and 80s in South Africa, the work of the late Walter Battiss is very much a part of my visual memory as I’m sure it’s yours. I grew up with a Battiss print at home that I’ve always loved (and coveted by the way mom, hint hint). Battiss’ unique signature – distinctive abstractions of human and animal forms and the use of vivid colour – earned him international acclaim, and recently there has been renewed interest from collectors in his paintings and woodcuts. You might not be able to afford a Battiss original, but you can enjoy a small-scale artwork in the form of a range of limited edition beautiful plates produced by ceramic artist Mervyn Gers (I’m a big, big fan) and his studio team. Elements from eighteen of Battiss’ best-known prints have been transplanted onto platters and flat bowls, either for use or display, and the results are truly striking. I reckon if you’re looking to go in with a friend (or solo) on a very special wedding gift or other special-occasion present for someone who has an appreciation for South African art, a Battiss plate would be enthusiastically received. The plates and bowls cost between R2 200 and R2 500 each.
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