auto & general Park features two architectural-scale artworks by iconic South African artists, Conrad Botes and Brett Murray.
THE WAYFARER by CONRAD BOTES
This 13-metre high by 6-metre wide mosaic artwork encourages viewers to think, reflect and communicate. Here, the artist reflects on the history of South Africa. He is filled with pain brought about by the knowledge that gross inhumanities (as portrayed by the mayhem at his feet) were and are presently being committed, for which he has enormous remorse. He is aware that the past is eternally recorded, never to be forgotten, but also that his actions will be similarly recorded (hence the writing in the book). He prays for redemption, hope and salvation, which is reflected by the beautiful radiating light that surrounds him – the rays focus exactly on his heart. There is a message here for all of us, whoever we are and whatever our backgrounds. We need to acknowledge and redress the wrongdoings of our past. We need to be mindful that all our actions are recorded and that we, and our descendants, will bear the fruit thereof.
CITIZEN by BRETT MURRAY
Citizen is a seven metre high bronze sculpture inspired by the Linguist Staffs of the Akan and Asante Kingdoms of Ghana. These staffs have been used since the 19th Century and are held by the Chief’s poets as badges of office. They are symbols of the Chief’s powers and wisdom and often allude to local proverbs including:
- One hand does not catch a buffalo: Ghana
- Those who walk together warn each other: Uganda
- Individuals have different talents: Tanzania
These African proverbs provide inspiration and content for the sculpture. A literal interpretation would be that there is no strength in isolated efforts and that collective undertakings yield better results. Citizen is a sculptural interpretation of this concept of strength in unity and is a visual metaphor describing a coming together of minds.