Walter Battiss | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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Fook Island

Between 1966 - 1968 Battiss travelled to Greece where the influence of 'Islands' began to have an impact on his creative thinking. In 1972 he visited the Seychelles and is enchanted by unspoilt nature and simple island life. Battiss' so-called Fook Island concept has its roots between 1973 - 1975 through his extensive travels to relatively remote areas in America, the Middle East and Europe. After a lengthy visit to the Pacific Islands in 1976, Battiss began to travel frequently to more remote and seemingly exotic areas.

Born from a hunger for a different and more simple and unspoilt kind of society in which to live, the concept presupposed an area or community with a unique and independent identity. Battiss created 'fooklore', stamps, and the Island's own currency - and thus attracted local and international adherents and Fook Island 'citizens' like Norman Catherine, Janet Suzman, Esme Berman, Jani Allan and Linda Givon.

Battiss and Norman Catherine held the first 'Fook Island' exhibit in 1975. From 1976 the 'Fook Island' concept flourishes and acquires South African and international followers.