Artist statement for 'Diary of a White Elephant'

The creation of what is referred to as “Diary of a White Elephant” indeed claimed a shot of blood, sweat and tears, not only from the artist. The diary of this white elephant reveals the shedding of such fluids, in some cases unwillingly and unknowingly, by the miner’s community of Allanridge, Freestate. 

The Mines Club of the former Loraine Mines used to be an affluent recreation spot, but with the quenching of the mineral industry – the town got stuck between a rock-filled pool and a bar.

The elements of blood, sweat and tears manifest itself in an abstract philosophy through a memorial of a swimming pool in the following ways:

Blood – the artist did not spill much of this liquid herself, but a young victim suffered the consequences of a nearly dry and deserted swimming pool in 2009 when a drowning took place.


Sweat – have you ever moved an elephant? Needless to say, it guarantees ample amount of sweat. Consequently sweating inspired the digging of an Olympic size pool, but maintenance of such a monstrosity requires gold bars.


Tears – when the gold dried up, Allanridge was left with a deep emptiness and a weeping tale of a tub.


Today the locals drown their sorrows at the last functioning resort of the Mines Club, while the white elephant is buried under rocks.

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Eljana van der MerweDiary of a White Elephant Oil on Canvas - 185cm x 120cm - 2014