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Researcher honoured with high rating

Artist and senior professor at the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof Willem Boshoff, recently received a B1-rating from the National Re­search Foundation (NRF).

In a press statement released by the UFS, Boshoff said this is an ode to academic practitioners in the arts who, according to him, seldom receive such high ratings.

With this rating, Boshoff is regarded as an internationally recognised researcher and a leader in his research discipline.

Boshoff, senior professor in the Department of Fine Arts, is a world-renowned artist, academic, researcher and generalist who hopes that this rating will assist with future efforts in raising re­search funding.

“Most of my artworks involve long-term archival research across a range of disciplines such as music, botany, visual arts and philosophy,” he says.

Apart from his interdisciplinary research, he also donated the Willem Boshoff digital research archive to the Department of Fine Arts to make his research process “internationally accessible and ongoing”.

“I am encouraging its expansion through other artists donating their research; support from the NRF could bolster such an initia­tive.”

He is also hopeful that this rating could open the door to NRF rating for UFS staff within the Faculty of the Humanities.

Boshoff created the sculpture Thinking Stone in 2011 as part of the Lotto Sculpture-on-Campus Project.

In addition to his research endeavours at the UFS, Boshoff has initiated several new student projects within the department.

One of these involves a week-long land-art project at Modern Art Projects SA (MAP SA) in Richmond, Northern Cape, for first-year students in Fine Arts.

“This collaboration with MAP founding director, Harrie Siertsema, is developing from strength to strength and merits to be securely funded well into the future.”

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