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VIEW IN MY ROOM
Sculpture: Wood on Wood.
'SEAT OF AFRICA'
Artist: Lukas Hattingh (~L~)
Born 1956, live and work in Pretoria, South Africa.The hardness of Africa is perhaps my main influence.
As a child I had the vision to sculpture a throne-like chair from a single piece of African Leadwood (Combretum imberbe) - the hardest and heaviest wood in the world (on par with Olia africana). Perhaps to encapsulate the hardness of Africa through its slow growing trees. I made as small model of my visionary 'throne' and for years, whilst walking the African bush, I was always on the lookout hoping to eventually find the right tree stump.
In my late twenties I had the opportunity to go and look for my potential Leadwood tree in the basin of a new dam under construction in the then Venda 'homeland' in South Africa. I found the tree - with trunk three meters long (straight) and one meter in diameter! The tree was already pushed over by the construction crew and burning from the crown to reduce it to ashes. I left and came back a week later, put out the still burning end, cut away the root-ball, carted the three-ton stump to Pretoria, and left it to dry. Seven years later I started on the sculpture and worked four months full-time to complete it. To conclude the royalty theme I then also upholstered the seat in genuine leopard skin.
This is truly a once-off work. The chances to find such a near perfect tree trunk in African Leadwood, about 1000 years old, is very slim.
For the connoisseur, obviously the chair need some head space to come to its right.