Series III: Institutional Arrangements
Nine paintings address the social context of apartheid, the institutions and the
philosophical and cultural milieu in which apartheid thrived. Every aspect of daily life in apartheid society was characterized by
boundaries and divisions as the laws created a maze of categories and restrictions. The land and its resources, the people and the
institutions were all deliberately segmented and fragmented.
Artificial barriers permeated South African culture as the institutional framework,
either overtly or subtly, supported and reinforced these societal cleavages. And South Africans became the
prisoners of their own ideology.
I approached the painting process through the creation of a personal symbolic language to signify the essence of what took place. The
cell as the essential determinant of human behavior references the individual
and also responsibility and accountability. Other elements and patterns, from both the land and the people, coalesce to create maps
linking the past with the present. In this way the pieces of
apartheid reality and the processes involved in seeking truth, justice and
reconciliation intersect to form the connective tissue of my artistic expression.
The voices of both victims and perpetrators needed to be heard. For
the TRC, all the participants and every South African finding the words and
hearing the voices was a courageous struggle. And for me
transforming this process became a redemptive practice. Uncovering the past,
revealing the truth and acknowledging responsibility began the process of breaking down the barriers and bridging the divisions. It was a
long and tortuous journey to a destination that often seemed ephemeral and
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak.
Courage is also what it takes to sit down and
View images from Institutional
Arrangements (Series III)