For several countries around the world the wearing of face masks is commonplace, but South Africans are still adjusting. As a pleasant yet present reminder to mask up when in public, murals have been installed in parts of Stellenbosch.
These murals showcase 5 famous South African artworks, all of women from various eras, by various artists in various mediums, with masks superimposed on them – offering a reflection on the difficult times we live in with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The selection of both artists and works is significant, both reflecting the times we are in, and the struggles we face. Gerard Sekoto’s works are some of the earliest images of black people in South Africa painted by a black artist. Irma Stern’s expressive portraits in saturated colour, boldly challenged conventional expectations of women. Maggie Laubser revitalized the ways in which South Africans saw the landscape with her quintessentially pastoral subjects. The controversial Vladimir Tretchikoff‘s work also make an appearance. All of the artists in the installation are South African cultural icons in some shape or form.
Their works have been supersized with masks superimposed on then and installed in various locations around Stellies, including the Stellenbosh Taxi Rank in Bird Street and the gabled walls of the Distell building on the R44.
The artists’ stories are displayed on plaques alongside the artworks, as well as information about the artworks, where the original artworks can be viewed, and how to make a study donation because all of the money that will be generated through this campaign will go towards Stellenbosch students by way of a SnapScan code or bank transfer.