Lawrence Lemaoana

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					Lawrence Lemaoana:
Myth is a powerful thing, and in the first world myth is embedded in a literary
Classical model. In Africa myth has a much shorter written history, as such myths are
still being built. All people have a desire for myths, because they are felt to convey
influence for those who start them. Lemaoana‟s past work tackles the validity of these
modern myths. The myth of South African rugby, or the elevation of political figures
to iconic status, elements reinterpreted visually with older, oral myths, such as those,
which surround sangomas, and religious iconography. Lemaoana questions the
validity of all these myths, established, and modern, by highlighting any diversion
from the truths of poverty, human rights abuse, and the need for true human
compassion and social justice. In this, he is however no visual or satirical iconoclast.
When first told of Pima and shown the papers on its design, it was almost possible to
see his mind at work, processing how the analyser would be seen within a society
hungry for its own myths, which like those of the European classical world, aid
knowledge, historical development, and a culture of equally belonging.
Alex Flett
The first step that I took before starting on the project, I studied the Pima CD4
Analyser as described by the technical briefs of Inverness Medical. I wanted to know
exactly what the machine is capable of scientifically; to try and understand for myself
its qualities. I also asked local people that I knew who had knowledge on the subject
of HIV/AIDS and health, what kind of impact this analyser was likely to have. By
such questioning it became clearer for me as an artist that using graphic language
would be the route to visually speak about the Pima Analyser. To do this, I have
resourced images and metaphors that refer specifically to South Africa, most
specifically the fisted hand, which has a strong anchoring within the country. A hand
punching into the sky is an image that was used by the anti apartheid movement to
signify unification, liberation, and positive action to achieve both social and political
freedoms. Such a propaganda tool also has current relevance because South Africa
has recently held elections, and although these are now over and decided, the country
remains politically charged. I have also used slogans, another tool of propaganda,
simple phrases that can have strong impact on the reader. For example, “One
Cartridge, One Power,” is derived from the understanding that knowledge is
empowerment. The Pima cartridge, being able to give you details of the CD4 count in
20 minutes, is equated with power, a new kind of power, one which is capable of
releasing people from a different form of bondage. I also used comedic technique,
such as “Pima crushes (dis)ease”. When the word disease is broken in two like this, a
pun is created, which not only speaks about disease as an illness or ailment, but also
as a form of discomfort. Lack of knowledge is a form of discomfort.
Black, light grey, orange and white, the specific Pima signature colours, I have
developed into a cohesive message, schemata, and an echo. The images provided by
Inverness Medical and used descriptively to show how the Pima analyser works are
flattened and adjusted, their informative functionality becoming iconic, and thus
translatable into silk-screens on t-shirts, banners, billboard s or posters. These images,
for me, are about reaching out to people; promoting knowledge of ones HIV status as
a form of positive empowerment in a country where “power,” has an historical
significance, which contains a multitude of connotations. Because of these
connotations I determined that the images would carry no negativity in the battle
against HIV/AIDS. Like in Pop Art, which developed from graphic design imagery, I
sought a clear crisp message that everybody can understand: - there is hope.
Lawrence Lemaoana
Nontobeko Ntombela :
As an Art for Humanity “Break the Silence” Artist in Residence in Scotland,
Ntombela brought a unique understanding of the differences between African and
Northern European culture. Essentially, Africa is an outside looking into, culture,
because it is possible for people to spend large parts of their time outside in the open
air. Meanwhile Northern European culture spends more of its time inside, looking out.
This simple fact, based on geography, is the conceptual base line of how the two
continents respond to art. More recently Ntombela has been developing a flattened
motif of a mother and child situated in a large almost barren spatial area, which
juxtaposes the inside outside, an echo of herself both as artist and a mother, and
evoking the loneliness of many women in Africa, their lack of human rights, and the
abuse and stigma which many have to carry in a world racked with HIV/AIDS.
Alex Flett
These prints are constructed using a landscape format making reference to a
photographic test-strip sheet, the idea of different shots. The images used tell
individual stories but are connected to all the images used in this body of the prints
work as a single series. Conceptualised to form a narrative, the first print titled „The
diagnosis‟ makes reference to getting a reading of your CD4 count. In this first image
I have used the silhouette of a “drop” and used the patterns of isishweshwe (symbolic
African branded cloth), to make a link with Africa. The image next to “The drop” is
an image of a process sign called „loading‟ that is usually associated to the uploading
of computer information, and the last image suggests medication. The second print
deals with notion of stigma with bandages covering the writing „stigma‟. Next to that
image is a row of chairs that suggest the idea of the waiting room, referring to the
waiting lines at a clinic, and suggest that with this new technology, the waiting line
will be reduced, as the time waiting for a CD4 test result will be considerably
lessened. The last image of the saint „Shembe‟ is entitled “The father the sun….” and
is built on the belief that he is the first South African black Saint to have had godly
power, and refers to the cultural complexities that exist in South Africa over curing
HIV/AIDS. Words of motivation about good health, encouragement on self-esteem
and faith are written, some in reverse, creating metaphors on the hi-tech medical and
traditional healing systems that exist in South Africa. Nontobeko Ntombela.

Yvette Dunn:
As a child, Dunn was subjected to a daily ritual of straightening curlers in her hair in
order to maintain the position of her family as being “coloured” under the iniquitous
apartheid regime then in force in South Africa. Her great grandfather, a Scot,
continues to have influence on how she approaches her work as an artist, because she
sees the beauty of ethnic mixture as South Africa progresses into the 21 st century,
because she herself is part of that. In 2007, work which she based on hair curlers was
exhibited at the Kirkcudbright International Arts Festival in Scotland, and visitors
were heard to comment that they finally understood the appalling position of those
who were caught in the horrors of Apartheid race classification, and how a ritual, so
normal to so many women, could become a desperately important mechanism; so
necessary to maintain continuously, not for personal feelings of beauty, but because of
a terrible never ending fear that not to do so could literally alter their lives. Alex Flett

Life is a dance, and this dance is the freedom of movement, the positives and
negatives we experience individually. These positive and negative experiences depend
on the decision you make in how you chose to handle the dance. The images in my
work show two people in a Life Dance, one has been tested and the other, a field
worker, carries a bag with results. They revolve around one another, connected by the
dance and, as HIV can be contracted between people whatever their sexual
orientation, I have depicted them as androgynous individuals.
 The technique of lines, and the figures coming out of boxes parallels the matrix of
life. Paul Klee once described drawing as “Taking a line for a walk” My line proceeds
through time, and echoes the dance, a dance which happens in real time to real
individuals caught in the world of HIV. But unlike Bergman, at the end of The
Seventh Seal, the dance is not macabre; there is hope in my figures.Yvette Dunn

Nicole Erasmus:
Nicole Erasmus a high achieving final year student, in the mould of those which
Durban University School of Art is becoming famous for developing. Both Ntombela
and Dunn being two examples. With Erasmus, memory is an echo of things past, and
a drawn line can be a progression through that memory. It can delineate as a literary
description, or it can develop a form, which delves into the deeper regions of
consciousness and becomes remembered at a sub conscious level. In the battle for
Awareness of HIV/AIDS, it is this more subtle and deeper region which has to be
stimulated in order to over ride a basic human function such as the sex drive. To do
this, one has to explore ones own relationship with things remembered, and use that
information to construct a paradigm for “remembering” in others. It is remembering –
to use a condom for example – which is so vitally important in the battle against the
virus.Alex Flett
I have used a lot of metaphors and the titles of each work are very important as they
help the viewer to read the work and place it in a relevant context. The images all use
red ribbon as metaphor for HIV and AIDS, and each one deals with a particular way
the PIMA machine will enhance the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS. My angle
was looking at how those living with HIV/AIDS can still live and have a full life if
they are given adequate treatment, and I feel the PIMA machine will give people this
opportunity.
Nicole Erasmus

				
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