Farewell to the Bloch

Kopano Dibakwane

Local art lovers gathered at Graskop Art Gallery on January 15th to catch a final glimpse of the Bloch.

The big tree trunk arrived in Graskop last year, as part of its journey around the world.

The Bloch Project Manager – in South Africa, Roger Gentinetta, said that the piece of art was acquired with the intention to collaborate with world artists, thus using it as a unique platform to expose various art forms.

“Bloch is a tree trunk that we bought at an Auction. We decided to take it around the world; it must visit all six continents. We give this piece of wood to local artists and they perform any kind of art, whether it’s music, theatre, speech or physical art. We started in South Africa about a year ago, and we have gone through places like Richmond, University of Johannesburg Art Faculty, Nelspruit Exhibition and Graskop,”

He added that the Bloch is 100 years old and so far it has travelled to Europe, China, United States (New York). He added that the volatile state of affairs in some African countries has limited the attempt to reach a wider audience.

“Originally we wanted to do Southern African countries, but unfortunately it’s too complicated. From here we go to Palestine and Israel to the next station. We don’t know how long the Bloch will be there. We’ll do the same thing of collaborating with local artists there. South Africa has contributed more of the physical art on the Bloch,” said Gentinetta.

Local artist Kevin Southey, famous for his awe-inspiring murals, contributed a piece titled BOBBY – B Disconnected. Smyth attended the function with his wife and partner at the Graskop Art Company, Lella. Kevin’s “Bobby – B Disconnected” piece will be celebrated around the world as the Bloch project continues its adventure. Is dit Smyth or Southey?

Wine and snacks were served to guests who included residents and tourists.

For more information on the Bloch, you can visit

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