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Sculptor Pitika Ntuli captures contemporary SA through his art

SABC News Pitika Ntuli Twitter @NtuliPitika 1 - Sculptor Pitika Ntuli captures contemporary SA through his art

South Africa’s socio-political climate is documented by playwrights and filmmakers and this time, Pitika Ntuli has chosen sculpting to capture contemporary South Africa. Ntuli is a well-known sculptor, academic and poet.

He’s unveiled a series of sculptural works which have been on show at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg. The sculptures depict the struggle of the country and its people, reconstructing and reshaping the future.

The exhibition will make its final appearance on Heritage Day week.

One sculpture titled “Quantum People,” weighs 19 tonnes and took over four years to complete. Ntuli says it speaks to the African Union Agenda 2063.

“When you look at it on side, you see just one giant face, but that giant face is made out of other faces. I am because you are. When you look at it right at the back, you see this powerful woman with hair made out of motorbike parts to show the strength of women behind everything we are doing. It’s all about the issues of heritage of the continent of Africa.”

In light of gender-based violence that has plagued the country, Ntuli says his artwork also strongly resonates with the struggles of African women.

“When you look at the six pieces that are around, the first one you look at is about the women who were made to stand naked at the end of the month by perverted warders and women who were made to give birth standing…Seeing that the issues of women and the issues of gender-based violence, even if it’s by the state or human being, is something that is totally intolerable.”

The collection forms part of the third annual SculptX exhibition, hosted by the Melrose Gallery. Melrose Gallery Director, Craig Mark, says SculptX is the largest sculpture fair that runs in the country.

“We’ve been working with Pitika for a long time already. This year (2019) we have launched the 3rd instalment of SculptX, which is the largest sculpture fair that runs in SA for the year and Pitika is one of the artists exhibiting work as part of that showcase. It’s more than 290 sculptural works, more than the 90 artists merging and established all mixed together in different venues around Melrose Arch.”

The exhibition is on show until 29 September.

On 29 September, Ntuli will be hosting another showcase with live performances titled “Dancing in the Footsteps of Pitika Ntuli – an afternoon of Laughter, Healing and Memory.”

Article by Nosipho Mncube

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