Entries in mosaic (2)


Mandela and Mosaics

I received an e-mail last term from Taryn Millar last term with a request to get my art students involved in an activity planned for this year’s Mandela day. Taryn is with the fundraising and project management arm for the redevelopment of the KZN Children’s Hospital and she wanted my art students from Reddam House Umhlanga to get involved in a mosaic project – taking two flat surfaced garden benches, and mosaicing images that relate to the Children’s Hospital onto the benches. This project would be initiated at the Children’s Hospital site on the 18th of July. (What would have been Mandela’s 100 Birthday)

My Grade 11 art students and I arrived at the KZN Children’s Hospital on Wednesday morning at 9am and started working on the tops of the concrete benches.

All sorts of events and activities were taking place at the same time. A few primary schools were involved in painting portraits of Mandela and making handprints in paint, and tertiary students worked on murals around the car park of the Children’s Hospital. With loud music playing, singing and a large birthday cake being cut and distributed, the atmosphere was quite festive.

We worked on the mosaics until 11.30am and then I took my students on a tour of the still derelict parts of the hospital buildings. A lot of the building is in a terrible state of decay. See the pics below. My students loved the atmospheric creepiness of the building and a few have vowed to return for future photo shoots. You can also look at my previous blog post for more pics of this building

We didn’t complete the benches - so we will collect them next week and finish them off at school. The finished  benches will eventually be placed along the pathway of the functioning outpatient department at the hospital.


Jackson Pollock in Absence and Presence 

Stephanie in my Grade 12 class interpreted the theme I set (Absence and Presence)  by looking at the presence of Jackson Pollock in the art world and his absence as an alcoholic. I recently submitted some of my students work for selection for an exhibition at the KZNSA gallery "what u say 'bout what? 03 June - 21 June 2014. This group exhibition showcased the work from local tertiary institutions and high schools. I am very proud to say that Stephanie's mosaic of Jackson Pollock in broken glass bottles and wine corks was chosen for this exhibition.




The following is Stephanie's explanation of her work: My artwork explores the theme of absence and presence as a result of the use of alcohol. If one consumes alcohol they are absent in their minds whilst their body is still present. I have created a portrait out of broken alcohol bottles of Jackson Pollock who was an alcoholic. I used him because I did not want to make this artwork personal and his fame makes him immediately accessible to everyone. Alcohol can make one very emotional & this links to Jackson Pollock exploration of his emotions when painting. I used broken pieces of glass to show that alcohol can cause one to behave in a negative manner,  which can damage relationships. Pieces of smooth and soft cork create a contrast with the sharp and dangerous glass. The soft and smooth cork resembles one's mind when one is drunk as opposed to the clear glassy clarity of thought one experiences when sober.