Sheep May Safely Graze – The Return of the Bultfontein Sheep

Sheep may safely graze: The return of the Bultfontein sheep was created as a signifier of a time of peace. The work makes reference to the past, specifically the slaughter of the Bultfontein sheep during the Anglo-Boer War (1899- 1902).

Amongst the atrocities, the English inflicted on their enemies during the war the slash and burn policy was arguably the most awful and the most effective. It was designed to bring the civilian Boer population to its knees by depriving it of any means of survival. The countryside was ravaged; crops were burnt and cattle, sheep and horses were slaughtered in their thousands. One such event occurred on the farm Bultfontein which lay between the Vet and Sand river. Sheep were herded together and shot. This event is captured in a photograph.

The horrors of the Boer war predate the awfulness of the apartheid era – the one foretold the other. Yet, South Africa succeeded in emerging as one of the freest democracies in the world. Sheep have returned to the fold, where they may safely graze.