Angus Taylor
Belfast granite, steel and concrete
6.05m [L] x 4.23m [W] x 6.45m [H]
Edition of 3
Belfast mafic gabbro [2061 – 62 Ma.]


Holderstebolder is a playfully interactive anti-monument by Angus Taylor, installed in the play area of the newly established Norval Foundation Museum in Steenberg, Cape Town. The Afrikaans word “holderstebolder” is derived from the Dutch “holderdebolder” and is an example of onomatopoeia, a sound imitation of something like boulders noisily rolling down a hill. The title becomes a fun play on words as the figure appears to be mid-roll, buttock in the air, arms and legs stretched out, and he is, rather coincidentally, composed of “boulders”. Carved and stacked in Belfast granite, a banded black chert from Barberton formed 3.23 billion years before present, the catapulting figure stretches close to 6.5m in the air and has a footprint of 4.2m wide and 6m in depth.

As with Taylor’s Homage to Hermes (2008), Longview (2016) and Dionysus (2017), Holderstebolder is a stone stacking.

Since prehistoric times, man has made use of stone-stackings, or cairns, to indicate boundaries and important places. The inuksuk used by the Inuit tribe from the far north Americas dates as far back as 12,000 BC and was used for navigation, points of reference and markers for travel routes. Whereas the initial purpose of these ancient structures held spiritual reverence for places, Taylor utilises stone stacking as an expression of contempt against modern day public sculpture and its inherent propagandistic nature.

Presented without pretence or hidden agenda, his work aims to communicate in a universal language that can be understood by all who interact with his sculptures. Instead of precious metals and heroic poses, he turns to humble materials and a universal composite portrait that does not glorify one singular individual. He seeks to invite interaction and participation rather than exerting authority or intimidating the viewer.

Taylor turns to whimsical representations that speak to the vulnerability of the human condition, and he does so with a sense of humour. Intended to communicate ideas of fun and play, Holderstebolder appears to be mid-summersault, an active participant in the “play” area. The choice of natural materials and the invitation to clamber and climb on and over him becomes a form of play therapy, aiding in the cognitive development of tactile systems, balance and special awareness. Although monumental in scale, Holderstebolder remains true to Taylor’s style and philosophy as an anti-monument. He quite literally turns the hierarchy of traditional sculptural themes and materiality on its head.

Finished Artwork

Close up

Work in progress

Work in progress

Work in progress

The making of Holderstebolder