I am no history geek but because I have stepped in zones that have beautiful art, I found catchy, it has triggered me to dig deeper than what meets the eyes. I love art and do appreciate it though not an artist myself. I came to realize how deep art can be both to the artist and the consumer of the art. Sometimes what we put out there burning from deep within us could either trigger positives or negatives.
I loved Cape Town and though there is much talk about dangers of solo travelling to this destination, I went solo….. period. I hadn’t made a list of what I wanted to see because I was just there to rest and not doing what a regular tourist would be doing. I picked the perfect area for my rest which was called Sea Point and as is the name, I was next to where the Atlantic and Indian ocean meet. Perfect beachfront accomodation.
When you lodge in such places, morning, afternoon and evening walks are like the order of the day. I did that many times and the one sculpture that I kept seeing there was a giant size pair of sunglasses.Super cool I thought! I did sit there, chilled there and took a pic or two there. Little did I know that this art had some intended meaning from the artist’s point of view but did the rest of the neighborhood, town or perhaps country empathize?
Would you ever connect a giant pair of sunglasses to a renowned, respected and heroic figure like Nelson Mandela of South Africa? He was an anti apartheid activist, politician and first president of South Africa and pretty sure was at the back of the mind of the artist behind the sculpture in question.But who is this artist behind this piece?
Michael Elion an artist and architect with a degree of architecture from University of Cape Town was the master mind and like earlier mentioned, art can either be welcomed with open arms by the masses or be the reason for some commotion.
Michael titled his piece,”perceiving freedom” and because these giant sunglasses stare out at Robben Island on the Atlantic Ocean where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for almost three decades, the artist had in mind Mandela’s time behind bars.
The masses however found this piece to not be fit for a man like Nelson and deemed it disrespectful and because this project was co- financed by eye wear maker Ray-Ban, some saw this as a promotion stunt pulled and also because it was unveiled in summer.
As I posed next to this piece, I had no clue it’s previous state had lenses on them but were vandalized by those against the artist’s theory. I will treasure the picture I took next to the remains as a lesson that sometimes simple looking things may have such deep meaning.