Jacques Dhont was born in the Congo in 1959. His parents moved to South Africa in 1967 and settled in Somerset-West. After studying painting at the University of Stellenbosch, he completed a double major in painting and sculpture at the Michaelis School of Fine Art (UCT) in 1989.
Soon after completing his degree, Jacques moved to the Overberg region where he could work close to nature, living in abandoned farm houses without electricity or running water. It was here that he first started experimenting with the creation of sculptures using woven wattle bark. (The black wattle is an alien and invasive tree species which used to grow in forests on the banks of the Riviersonderend.) Jacques mastered the weaving technique and the works created during this period speak of their inspiration of water and woodlands.
Fascinated with processes of deconstruction and regeneration in Nature, Jacques started to incorporate more natural media as well as found objects. In a series of sculptures created in 2000, bark figures play with a series of “toys” constructed with animal bones and found wire. Some of the figures wear metal masks and sheep skin is woven into the bark to emphasize the opposition between modern and ancient cultures.
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