Snake Man. A memorial exhibition by David Brits.

Snake Man commemorates the life of John Wood, David Brits’ late maternal grandfather. Wood was one of South Africa’s most prominent reptile experts, snake catchers and snake showmen. Over a period of sixty years he caught thousands of snakes, spiders, scorpions, lizards and frogs for both medical research and the development of snake and spider antivenoms. Wood was a prolific poet, photographer and filmmaker, and shared his great passion for reptiles through these mediums as well as with his traveling snake show, which toured the country from the 1950-70s.  

Brits’ artworks take their inspiration from the large archive of photographs, films, newspaper cuttings, letters, poems, and priceless books that Wood left behind. Working across a wide range of media including drawing, linocuts and prints, in Snake Man, Brits contemplates the life of his grandfather, his legacy, and the perennial power of the snake.  

Opening: Thursday 19th November 2015 at 5.30 

19th November 2015 – 9 January 2016

SMITH Gallery. 56 Church Street, Cape Town. 021 442 0814


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