Willem Boshoff: Flagstone

Willem Boshoff’s Flagstone is a sculpture and a seat, positioned here overlooking Upper Lake to provide a space for rest and contemplation. In summer 2018, Boshoff spent a month at YSP, researching and meticulously recording the flora and fauna. Each day he walked the paths around the Park and became particularly fond of the areas around the Lakes. The residency was followed by an exhibition in Upper Space and the subsequent gift of Flagstone as a permanent work for YSP’s landscape.


The black granite used for Flagstone comes from Belfast, in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province. Boshoff selected the rock from a quarry site where abandoned stones litter the landscape. The granite has a fluted surface, which gives the appearance of a fabric flag moving in the wind. The title also refers to a flat slab used for paving or as stepping stones.

The rippled surface of Flagstone also mimics the movement of water. Boshoff refers to this and contemplates the passage of time over many millennia through a Latin inscription that spills over the sculpture. The text reads: 'GUTTA CAVAT LAPIDEM, NON VI, SED SAEPE CADENDO' [a drop of water hollows a stone, not by force, but by continuously dripping]. This phrase comes from the writings of Ancient Roman poet Ovid.

Willem Boshoff (b. 1951) was born in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. He works in a variety of media including sculpture, installation, performance and printmaking. His works reflect his interests in language and words, plants, nature, science, mathematics, astronomy, philosophy and politics.

This work is part of the YSP Collection.