Innovative Maties Art Project around Town

Innovative Maties Art Project around Town

Since Friday 7 August, Stellenbosch has seen new well-known art pop up around town. Celebrating 5 famous South African artworks from various eras, artists and mediums, the project, aptly named Masked Masterpieces, features supersized images of these artworks. The works are all of women, with masks superimposed on them – offering a reflection on the difficult times we live in with the COVID-19 pandemic . 

This is a joint project from the University of Stellenbosch’s Development and Alumni Relations Division, and funded by members of the private sector, such as the Norval Foundation, Investec and the Rupert Art Foundation.

Each work features a plaque with the artist’s story, more information on the artwork, where the real work is located, as well as how to make a donation to the University (via Snapscan or EFT). The funds are going towards students studying at the University’s Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. 

These bursary students are those who cannot afford university fees, but also do not qualify for government funding – especially those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The University’s aim is to ensure that these students are able to complete their academic year successfully. It’s a wonderful project that embodies innovation, goodwill, education and beauty. The works will be up until December 2020. 

The 5 artworks (and their locations) are:

  1. Gerard Sekoto’s The Senegal Woman (1973)

Location: The gabled wall of the Distell building on the R44.

2. Irma Stern’s The Initiate (1935)

Location: The wall next to the GUS gallery in Dorp Street.

If you are a fan of Stern’s work, do visit the Irma Stern Museum at the University of Cape Town.

3. Maggie Laubser’s Portrait of a Coloured Girl (1930)

Location: The Dorp Alley in Bird Street (the alley next to Standard Bank).


4. Zanele Muholi’s Aphelile IV, Durban (2020) 

Location: The Stellenbosch taxi rank in Bird Street 

Muholi explains to the New York Times:


“‘The image was taken on April 11, in South Africa, in response to the emergency and the use of gloves and masks as essentials that are necessary to keep one safe and protected against the pandemic. I am under lockdown with limited movements and resources to continue production at my usual pace. I have to make use of what is at my disposal.’’ — Z.M.” .

5. Vladimir Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl (1952) (also sometimes known as The Green Lady)

Location: The gabled wall on the corner of Drostdy and Plein Streets.

The story of the real woman Tretchtikoff painted is fascinating – read more here.

#livestellenbosch #leefstellenbosch #positivity #stayathome #community #socialcohesion #supportlocal #winter #women #art #maties #maskedmasterpieces #irmastern #vladimirtrechtikoff  #zanelemuholi  #gerardsekoto  #norvalfoundation #rupertartfoundation #investec

[Photos from www.matiesalumni.com , www.nytimes.com , www.facebook.com/stellenboschuniversity]

Written by C Knoesen

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