This weeks piece was taken whilst walking above Kirstenbosch Gardens. The mountain is an awesome view, and has an awesome view, much like many parts of Cape Town. Kirstenbosch pulls you into itself on arrival and you have no other option other than to embrace its beauty and relax. When I moved to Cape Town I joined the Botanical Society in order to gain free access to this magnificent garden. This is a great idea if you use the garden often. Nature is full of beauty and spending time in nature is rejuvenating for the soul…so put on your hiking shoes!!!
There is something about a row of trees that is beautiful. Possibly the structure of the row of trees vs. the organic shape of the trees. What ever it is this striated sky depicts a row of trees along a dusty path at Babylonstoren. The piece is modified depicting the dusty path as a canal coloured “water way”.
This piece reminds me of how as humans we have the ability to create structured environments that are functional and beautiful. I feel that this garden is what all South Africans should be allowed to experience in their own backyards. This is opposed to the current trend of cramming people into developments and housing projects that reduce garden space in order to maximise profits and living space but remove peoples ability to have a green garden space.
The beautiful and enchanting gardens of Babylonsoren are a gem to visit and this is the second striated skies piece that is based at the venue. I would most definitely recommend a visit.
This week I wanted my Striated Skies piece to be current and ask questions about current affairs in South Africa. The piece depicts the General Louis Botha Memorial that sits outside parliament in Cape Town. Many South Africans are currently talking about statues, our heritage and the deeper meaning of the symbols that are present in many cities and towns. All of this was sparked by the #RhodesMustFall campaign that UCT students held for the removal of the Statue of Cecil John Rhodes from the campus. If you follow the news you will know that the statue has in fact been removed.
South Africa is a country that protects freedom of speech and this freedom has allowed different groups of people to demonstrate their position on the matter. This has resulted in people getting worried about the possibility of unrest between Afrikaaners, who want to protect their heritage, and Black South Africans ,who do not want a constant reminder of our Colonial past. Government has expressed that we have taken too long to change the memorial landscape of South Africa but have called for a stop to the defacing and destruction of heritage sites and landmarks.
Louis Botha was the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa from 1910 – 1919. Winston Churchill described him as one of the three most famous generals he knew in his life time. Louis Botha also ensured the postponement of Black voting rights, believed in segregation of black and white and when negotiating with the British in 1902 made many concessions at the expense of Black and Coloured people. Should he Stay or Go?
The General Louis Botha Memorial, by Italian artist Raffaello Romanelli, was initially unveiled on 2 February 1931 in front of the Sammy Marks Building then relocated to its current position in the 1980’s after the building of a parking garage under the parliament entrance square. This memorial commemorates his role in war and as the first prime minister. Should he Stay or Go?
An Audit of Sculptures, Memorials and Monuments of Cape Town undertaken in 2009 give the following definitions:
- a monument is a statue, building or other structure erected to commemorate a notable person or event and/or an obelisk, a statue, a building erected in commemoration of a person or event
- a memorial is something, especially a structure, established to remind people of a person or event, and/or it is serving to preserve the memory of the dead or a past event
- to commemorate is to recall and show respect for something or someone in a ceremony and/or to honour or keep alive the memory
The General Louis Botha Memorial was part of this audit. Given these definitions should this memorial Stay or Go?
I am sure that different people will have different answers to the question of Stay or Go. Where I stand on the matter is that the prominence of this statue is not representative of the current South Africa and feel that it should be moved. I believe that it has historical significance and therefore should be given a new home.
My hope for this current debate is that we, as South Africans, look to understand our differences and acknowledge each others truths. That we will learn to listen without reacting and forge a better South Africa together.
I have launched a 52 Striated Skies Facebook page in order to spread the awareness of the 52 Striated Skies Project. I urge you to take a look at the page and if you like what I am doing that you like the page and share it with your friends and family.
The goal of the 52 Striated skies Project is to exhibit the project in early 2016 in Cape Town. In conjunction with the exhibition I hope to sell the original canvas prints as well as a limited number of archival poster prints. I am going to need the help of all the people who enjoy my work in order to get to this goal.
Thank you to everyone who has liked my blog and posts over the first 14 pieces and I hope to grow the following even further.
I have a love for architecture and appreciate a beautiful building almost as much as a beautiful piece of nature. I am always on the look out for real gems and the Carl Hermann Building is one of those gems.
I first saw this building when attending a Startup Grind event at the Townhouse Hotel in Cape Town. I fell in love with this building and said to myself that I want to own it one day. On my second trip to Startup Grind I decided to take a picture of the building in order to give it a Striated sky.
The building is in a victorian style and was classified, by the South African Heritage Resource Agency, as a Heritage Site in 1990. It was designed by Parker and Forsyth and completed in 1905. Currently called the Carl Hermann Building, this beauty was previously called the W Irving Building. Woolworths Pty(Ltd) own this building and it houses offices. The building is maintained very well and is a real jewel tucked away in Cape Town Centre. The northern side elevation of the building is a blank canvas that would be the perfect place of a mural such as a picture of Table Mountain if the building where not there.
Come on Woolworths find it in your hearts to beautify the side of this building or give it to me to do :-P. Make your way down to Corporation Street and check it out.