Lifestyle 15.7.2015 02:29 pm

Preserving Mandela’s legacy through art

The finished product. Carlo Kaminski's collage, titled 'From Prisoner to President'. Pic: Bedfordview Edenvale News.

The finished product. Carlo Kaminski's collage, titled 'From Prisoner to President'. Pic: Bedfordview Edenvale News.

When Bedfordview resident Carlo Kaminski was asked to take photographs of an old building in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, he had no idea he would stumble upon artistic inspiration.

Kaminski said when he walked into one of the flats on the last floor of the building, where tenants had been evicted, he decided to take photos from a different angle, Bedfordview Edenvale News reported.

“I walked into the bathroom so I could take pictures from the window. As I turned around, I saw a beautiful poster of Nelson Mandela on the wall. It intrigued me and I knew it needed to be preserved.

“I brought it home and thought of ways to transform it, as it was badly warped,” he said.

To preserve the image, Kaminski created a collage mounted on a double chip board and used more than 10 000 glass beads and pins.

The art piece tells the story of Madiba’s life and is titled “From Prisoner to President”.

“A 1994 cloth South African flag was used as a backdrop to the collage, on top of which beads and pins were embedded into the overall image. The beads and pins are meant to symbolise Madiba’s vision of a rainbow nation and his dream to unite the country,“ said Kaminski.

He also used iron bars, which he said represented the time Madiba spent on Robben Island, and barbed wire to symbolise his hardships in fighting against apartheid.

Upon doing his research, Kaminski said he found the photo was taken two days after Mandela was released from prison.

“I believe the photograph itself was not taken by a South African journalist. Remember, after 1994 there was an influx of people from other African countries, most of whom lived in Hillbrow, so it’s possible that it could have come from another state after it was produced to celebrate Mandela’s election,” said Kaminski.

He said celebrating this year’s installment of Mandela Day on July 18 will be an honour, knowing he has done something to help preserve Mandela’s legacy.

– Caxton News Service

 

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