Who is Angus Taylor?

Pretoria-based artist Angus van Zyl Taylor with his sculpture of Brenda Fassie.
Pretoria-based artist Angus van Zyl Taylor with his sculpture of Brenda Fassie.
Picture: Debbie Yazbek © Sunday Times

By Gillian Anstey

No newcomer to public art, Angus Taylor has completed several commissions for government, local councils, private companies and individuals.

Taylor grew up in Johannesburg and the Vaal Triangle in Gauteng. After school, he travelled around the country, did his stint in the army and later studied Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria, graduating with honours in 1997.

In 1994, he won PPC National Young Sculptors' Award. After tutoring in drawing and sculpture, he started his own business in 1998. Since then, he has taken part in many group exhibitions and has held five solo shows. He teaches part time at the University of Pretoria and advises at Tshwane University of Technology. In 1998, he started a company called DSW (Dionysus Sculpture Works) and has since completed numerous commissions for governments, local councils, private companies and individuals. In 2005 he was named Alumni Laureate by the University of Pretoria.

"There seems, these days, to be some type of hierarchy in art where the seemingly conceptual genres (which may often be related to the emperor's clothes) are more highly rated than those works which are successful both in terms of concept and technical execution," says Taylor. "The type of art that I appreciate enchants and fascinates me with the execution and the concept behind it."


back to the Brenda Fassie memorial page

"I like to create controversy. I'm going to become the Pope next year. Nothing is impossible."
Brenda Fassie
Brenda Fassie, 1984
Picture: Joe Sefale © Sunday Times


Newspaper sources: An exercise in image-making

In this lesson plan, learners are asked to think about different images that the media communicate. They will see that one person can be represented in many different ways, or that one person has different sides. Brenda Fassie was a very complex person.

Lesson page
You′ll need the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader to view these lesson plans. Download it here.
Archive Photo Gallery
MaBrrr channels Madonna and other great divas.
Artwork Photo Gallery
Watch the Brenda sculpture develop from clay mould to glowing likeness of the queen of African pop.
Orbituary audio archive
Listen to SAfm/Metro FM’s obituary of Brenda, broadcast on May 10, 2004 (5’42").
Go on a 360° virtual tour of the Brenda Fassie memorial, located at Bassline, in the Newtown precinct of Johannesburg.
Madiba remembers Princess Brenda
Madiba describes his surprise when he heard Princess Brenda coming down the stairs in his house
Zola Budd Track
The Sunday Times Heritage Project’s first memorial is to Brenda Fassie, a woman variously described as the Queen of African pop and the Madonna of the Townships
Brenda Fassie and Zola Budd
MaBrrr struts her stuff and takes on taxi drivers with her big hit, “Zola Budd”