'History written in Stone'
New public sculptures in Melrose Arch by Pitika Ntuli
Prof. Pitika Ntuli's new sculptural works outside African Pride in The Melrose Arch Precinct, Johannesburg
As part of SculptX 2019, The Melrose Gallery is unveiling seven large granite works by the iconic sculptor Pitika Ntuli. On show for the first time ever, these powerful works recount South Africa’s historical struggle against the Apartheid regime. Individually and collectively they detail specific moments and aspects of the struggle.
“Askaris” captures moments of betrayal, and of turning freedom fighters to become collaborators. “Defiance”- a woman forced to give birth standing - evokes the horrors of demented, perverted warders who made the lives of female prisoners unbearable. The piece captures the resilience and determination of women who defied the oppressive system. “Gaining Perspective” - while the dominant discourse about Apartheid speaks of white versus black - in reality the struggle was more complex with examples of black and white collaboration. “Weapons of Culture” emphasises the cultural boycott, and highlights the significance of the cultural aspects of the struggle. “Conspiracies and Whispers” reminds us of the time when escalating repression forced South Africans to operate in underground cells. “Vigilance” – a necessary skill for avoiding betrayal, capture and incarceration. The seventh work, “Still We Must Rise” speaks to the slow progress that has been made since the introduction of democracy in 1994.
Carved from Belfast Black Granite, the seven works provide a significant warning and reminder of a history that carries special significance in view of the rise of right wing governments around the world.
Six of the works are installed in Melrose Square, opposite Moyo’s and the seventh on the corner of the High Street. The square provides a safe and tranquil space for one to view and experience the works amongst the trees but mirrors other squares around the world that have become spaces for the struggle for liberation and rights.
SculptX Fair opens on August 29th and runs from August 30th to September 29th. The Fair, curated by Ruzy Rusike and Megan Theunissen includes 200 works by 90 Artists. A programme of discussions and performances will happen during September. More detail can be found on www.themelrosegallery.co.za
For more information please contact:
083 278 3906
For The Gallery and SculptX:
083 777 6644