The artwork WOODEN BOOK-CITY was commissioned by the students of Pretoria University, Department of Building Sciences in April 2006 as a parting gift for professor Le Roux who is to retire from teaching at their institution. The artwork was made possible because it was incepted as one of an edition of 21 multiples, and although it is signed as 7/21, it is the first piece to be completed in the edition.
To celebrate the idea of a professor who devotes his life to teaching, research and academic matters, the outside format of WOODEN BOOK-CITY is that of a book. The contents of the book, once opened, is that of the architecture of a city and its buildings. About 20 species of wood were used randomly to allude to the appeal and fascination materials have for architects.
To open and close the 'book'
1. Locate the front 'cover' of the 'book' - it has a piece of 'Oregon pine' in the very centre of it. Do not confuse the 'Oregon pine' with the 'South African pine' an the back 'cover'
2. Place the book flat on a table with its front 'cover' facing up and the 'spine' on the left.
3. Hold the front 'cover' gently on its right-hand side and pull it to the left. The front cover hinges open away from the back 'cover' which remains on the table.
4. Keep pulling the front 'cover' across the central spine and it will open away from the 'spine' until it also comes to rest on the table
5. To close the book, the front 'cover' must be pulled back the same way it was opened.
6. Opening and closing the 'book' is not possible if the wrong sequence is used.
7. When closed, the 'book' can stand on its side and may be stored on a shelf.
Care for the work
1. WOODEN BOOK-CITY is a work of art and not a toy. Playing indiscriminately with it will result in damages
2. The work has been treated with penetrating wax polish. Further polishing in wax is not necessary.
3. Do not bend the 'covers' backwards. The 'spine' might snap or tear away.
4. Three different types of glue were used in the construction. If any of the pieces become dislodged, I am prepared to repair the 'book' free of charge. No repairs will be undertaken as a result of manhandling. My details are to be found in the letterhead above.