Johannes Phokela 

Batavian Dream

The quest for territorial autonomy is perhaps the most fundamental reason for human settlement patterns.

The Netherlandish/Flemish Proverbs reference a basic way of life and a profane morality code contrary to religious faith.

The genre was explored by numerous artists, notably Pieter Bruegel, during a period when Europe was engulfed in a political struggle centred on class, religious and territorial disputes. 


It can be argued as to how it kicked off, but in general terms these disputes were a result of Feudalism emanating from the Renaissance Project. Christian Faith became a political tool to subjugate the less well off.

Batavia is an ancient name used by the Romans referring to the Low Lands, an area in Western Europe, roughly the size of South Africa and covering part of

present geographical territories in The Netherlands, Belgium, France and England.


The quest for political reforms and the subsequent demand for autonomy were precipitated by religious wars as feudal demand for land.

In hindsight, this quest for autonomy became a platform for global colonial expansion. This global expansion brought with it huge mercantile wealth. Ironically, what we today call capitalism or market economy go all the way back to territorial disputes in a place that the Roman Empire named Batavia. The idea of Batavian Dream is loosely based on the historical, social and economic struggle that took place in Batavia.

The Artworks for Batavian Dream were inspired mainly by the Flemish Proverbs.

This body of work is part of an on-going quest for educational reform.

The Drunken Silenus
Spoilt for Choice
Saturn Devouring His Own Children
Prince Ferdinand
Park Life
Mob Justice
Florin in Hand
Four Graces
Man on Fire
Lot and His Daughters
To be barely able to reach from one loaf to another
Never believe someone who carries fire in one hand and water in the other
She puts the blue cloak on her husband
To be pissing against the moon
To fall from the ox onto the rear end of an ass
To cast roses before swine
To have to stoop to get on in the world
To crap on the world
To hang one's cloak according to the wind
To bang one's head against a brick wall
To be a pillar-biter
To be able to tie even the devil to a pillow - Oil on Canvas 45.5 x 45.5cm
The Falling of the Damned (Blue)
Dutch Proverbs
Flight of Europa
Ides of March
The Ghost of Maximillian
Saturn Devouring His Own Children
One Step Down to Earth
Pantomime Moral Act

© 2016 Luvey 'n Rose

Stellenbosch / Cape Town / Johannesburg

083 557 7156

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