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Other Articles from The Villager

He does art for fun

by Jemima Beukes


with an ear-ring in his left ear he looks just like the French artists’ pre-independence mothers warned their daughters about but his sculptures are just as thoughtful as a decent husband.
Namibian-born artist, Rolf Albrecht’s sculptures range from simple art of clay to cement fondue with the former being his most preferred method of sculpting.  
After he attended a few pottery courses at the College of the Arts and at the former Academy (now Polytechnic of Namibia), he started sculpting earnestly.
“I attended a few sculpting classes offered by Marina Aqua at what is now the Polytechnic. This was also the time I seriously started sculpting,” says Albrecht.
He finds his inspiration from the African nature and mostly uses organic materials for his vessels.
As a great fan of the US musician Johnny Cass, he was driven to mould a sculpture of a miniature jazz band complete with the flute, guitar and oboe.
He is currently trying to get a new set of vessels/bowls, which should be part of an animal sculpture.
His new-age style of sculpting is often regarded as contemporary art.
Like most artists, Albrecht started sculpting purely for relaxation and he notes that sculpting was once quite a prominent form of art before Independence.
However, since Independence, the art has become almost non-existent, “Sculpting is purely an outlet of relaxation for me. I am never looking at generating an income from it. In general, it doesn’t really pay off. Clay sculptures can fetch a good price because its production process is faster and its material are cheaper.   
“Clay sculpting, however, is no tedious work and I find working with clay very therapeutic,” he notes.
Albrechts has had several exhibitions in Namibia including the annual exhibitions of the Potter’s Association of Namibia.
He also mounted an exhibition for the Cancer Association of Namibia and has had a few exhibitions at his home in Windhoek.  He has also taken part in a few group exhibitions at the Omba Gallery (Windhoek).
Albrechts works mainly with his wife, Genie Albrechts who is also a keen artist and the founder of Namibia Potters Association. They had their last combined exhibition in November 2010.
While he has never conducted any exhibition outside Namibia, he has some few private collections in England, Germany, South Africa as well as Barku bought by private individuals.
One public collection is in America bought for a public institution.
His awards include the 1991 Annual PAN Exhibition, Hand-built Clay; 1996 Annual PAN Exhibition, Hand-built Clay; 2003 Annual PAN Exhibition, Hand-built Clay.
Albrechts plans to have an exhibition along with his wife before the end of this year.