Adding art to the Learning Centre

31 March 2003

Capturing the artists: (From left) Sbongile Memani, Sandi Mdekazi, Xolani Badli and Mbuyisile Sandaha painstakingly laid out the new mosaic mural at the entrance of the Learning Centre.

THE FACULTY of Health Sciences' Learning Centre recently received an artistic makeover. The brightly coloured structure boasts several pieces of artistic mastery by some of South Africa's premier artists.

At the entrance of the building students and staff are greeted by a commissioned mosiac mural, by visual art sculptor and ceramic artist, Lovell Friedman and her team. Friedman's team is currently completing similar work on pot plants that will complement the mural.

According to Friedman, the concept behind the work is the potency of healing associated with hands.

“Hands speak of intimacy, identity, action as well as anatomy, physiology and biomechanics,” she explained, adding, “In the mural the hand is juxtaposed with images of human creativity, medical ingenuity, technology, laboratories and computers. Within the computers are anatomical images.”

The theme of the healing hand is further utilised in the wire sculpture, created by Walter Oltmann, the 2001 Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year. The sculpture is positioned in the central foyer of the building opposite the diptych by Sam Nhlengthwa.

The UCT Works of Art Committee was given the mandate to commission art works for the Learning Centre, with funds set aside in terms of Council's guideline that 1% of the budget is to be spent on art works for new buildings.

According Christopher Peter, a member of the UCT Works of Art Committee and curator of the Irma Stern Museum, the Committee is keen on promoting visual arts on UCT's campuses.

“The more you do with visual arts on the Campus, the more responses you get from students, staff and donors. We are really working towards creating more interest in the Campus by investing in the visual arts,” he explained.

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