Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Zebra Crossing

An interesting and thought-provoking project during the 2010 Soccer World Cup was the installation of 33 life-sized zebra sculptures throughout the city.  It's been fun discovering the colourful creations in quite unexpected places, on traffic islands and circles, in parks and outside an art gallery, close to a cathedral and at the beginning of the Company Gardens Walk.  I've also found several near the Fan Walk to the Stadium and near the Promenade, so quite a few still to discover.

The zebra are understandably popular with small children and I've had to stand in line for my turn to take photographs while parents hoist little ones up on to the sculptures to take snaps with cellphones.  I find myself  imagining a generation of kids some time in the future asking grandma or grandpa why mom and dad  were photographed perched up on top of those strangely coloured animals.

This handsome fellow looked pretty ordinary until you noticed the rather manic-looking eyes changing from an eerie purple to red, green, blue and yellow, evoking shrieks of delicious terror from his fans.

The aim behind this project, quoting from the website Not all is Black and White  "..... is to highlight South Africa's contribution to a world beset by challenges.  An appropriate visual metaphor of such wisdom should be the African Zebra, carrying a message in both word and artistic form ..."  *

Artists were asked to incorporate into their creation one from a list of quotes by ex-President Nelson Mandela and this statue painted in  the colours of a famous brand of tractor had appropriate words on the small plough harnessed to the animal - "We do not want freedom without bread, nor do we want bread without freedom".

My favourite sculpture, a gentle-looking gold and white zebra resting, appropriately enough, outside St George's Cathedral.

"We live in an interdependent world which is bound together to a common destiny"

"There is no easy walk to freedom"
"I will go down on my knees to beg those who want to drag our country into bloodshed and persuade them not to do so.
"Deep down in every human heart, there is mercy and generosity"

A double-headed zebra - Andi and I played a guessing game as we walked up to this sculpture but the message was clear from the circular inscription - and very appropriate.

"When you negotiate you must be prepared to compromise"

Click to see a larger view and you'll notice that the structure is see-through, which I think is also appropriate to the message.

This eye-catching creation was plastered with street signs and remembrance plaques of historical significance.  90 Plein Street is the address of our Parliament.

Two people trying to read the plaque beneath the zebra whilst their daughter, who had been strictly forbidden to do so, photographed them from the bridge above.

X-ray vision?

This installation had me completely baffled.  There wasn't any inscription that I could see -  any suggestions or interpretations are welcome.

"Freedom cannot be achieved unless women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression"

*  Quotations Nelson Mandela.


rachel said... [Reply to comment]

How very inspiring! And interesting. Thank you!


Related Posts with Thumbnails