This is to certify that my sculpture entitled BIFISTULAR was completed in in September, 2008. The design of this work is based on a much smaller sculpture made as part of the Blind Alphabet Project in 1993. The original piece was made small enough so that it could be picked up and easily handled by a blind person. Like the original sculpture, the present-day work is made in Imbuia (Phoebe porosa) and carries the Braille insciption: “WILLEM BOSHOFF BIFISTULAR”.

The original work made for the Blind Alphabet Project was accompanied by a Braille plaque containing the text:

BIFISTULAR

A fistula is a pipe, in Latin, and also in some specific English usage. Bifistular indicates ‘having two tubes’, or ‘looking like’ them. Fistula is generally used when words like ‘vein’ ‘artery’, ‘tube’ ‘intestinal canal’ etc. do not adequately convey what kind of pipe is meant, when the type of pipe is special, mysterious. Fistula is revived in obscure cases where ordinary words fail. In pathology, it is a pus-conveying canal or an elongated ulcer. In ichthyology, certain fishes, like whales, have them. Insects too, are endowed with hidden fistulae. It was a special drinking-straw, used in bygone years at communion, to sip consecrated wine, but is now only used by the Pope. It was a distinguished wind-instrument played in ancient Roman times. When the project-shape was made, ‘pipe’ had to be separated from ‘pipe-like’. For this, the obvious inside hole of pipes was abandoned, only the outside wall was sculpted. The outside appearance was then enhanced by twisting it in the shape of the letter ’S’, doubled-up alongside itself to be bifistular. The piece was made in Imbuia (Phoebe porosa) on Friday, 18 June 1993.

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