Nelson Mandela’s arrest in 1962, a few kilometres outside Howick KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, has been marked by an outstanding sculpture by South African artist Marco Cianfanelli, constructed 50 years later in 2012. Mandela’s profile is captured in fifty steel columns measuring 6.5 and 9 meters high, each anchored to the concrete-covered ground. The portrait of Mandela can only be viewed at 35 meters from the front of the sculpture.
Cianfanelli talks about the inspiration behind the sculpture. “This represents the momentum gained in the struggle through the symbolic of Mandela’s capture. the 50 columns represent the 50 years since his capture, but they also suggest the idea of many making the whole; of solidarity. it points to an irony as the political act of mandela’s incarceration cemented his status as an icon of struggle, which helped ferment the groundswell of resistance, solidarity and uprising, bringing about political change and democracy.”
Jonathan Burton and Leigh Wilmsen have put a time lapse film of the site construction to music, narrated by Jabulani Ngubane.
“We stand on the foundations that have been laid out by those who came before us. The foundations of change. As we develop and formulate our understanding of our purpose, we learn and grow with the help of those who guide us. By Looking within ourselves we can learn to speak and live from our hearts. In so doing we will rise up and touch the sky. When we stand together and move forward in love and understanding all becomes clear. We stand united looking at the new horizon, with all possibilities in line before us. It is what we leave behind together, the legacy, the love we have imparted on the world and the time and understanding that we have given to others. That is the monument in the foundation that will not be weathered by time.”