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Battiss lived and worked at Giotto’s Hill in Menlo Park, Pretoria. He studied drawing and painting at the Witwatersrand Technical College, and in 1931/1932 he attended the Johannesburg Training College, earning his Teacher’s Diploma. In 1941 he graduated from UNISA with a BA (Fine Arts). In 1973 UNISA also awarded him an Hon D Litt et Phil for his creation of the imaginery Fook Island.               

The screen print Guinea Fowl was made in about 1973/1974 when Battiss visited London-based master printer, Chris Betambeau. The work is typical of Battiss’s wry humour. He’d often title a work after a rather insignificant element or motif in the picture – the guinea fowl in this case – to draw attention to the disparate nature of the composition. He always took delight in the whimsical shapes and playful figures in the picture plane, reminiscent of a carnivalesque sense of the world.



 | Click to view the artwork |

Guinea Fowl,
silkscreen, edition 39/45, 77 x 45cm, circa 1970s
Wayne Cahill Barker   Gerhard Harald Batha   Walter Whall Battiss   Deborah Margaret Bell   Bongi Bengu   Willie Bester
Peter John Bonney   Willem Hendrik Adriaan Boshoff   Mbongeni Richman Buthelezi   Norman Catherine   Erika Hibbert   Phillemon Hlungwani
Robert Griffiths Hodgins   William Kentridge   John Kramer   Speelman Mahlangu   Colbert Mashile   Clare Menck
John Mark Moore   Zwelethu Mthethwa and Sam Nhlengethwa   Olbie Olberholzer   Walter Oltmann   Milwa Mnyaluza George Pemba   Uwe Pfaff
Karin Preller   Dan Rakgoathe   Albert Redelinghuys   Jürgen Schadeberg   Lucky Sibiya   Jaco Sieberhagen
Lionel Smit   Richard John Smith   Angus Taylor   Alfred Thoba   Andrew Verster   Edoardo Villa