Thursday, March 12, 2015

Oom Manie

At the Oudtshoorn art festival in 2010, I walked the street among the mass of festival goers. It was a cold morning in light karoo drizzle. I had some time to kill so I ended up next to a fire in a drum, that was being stoked by an elderly gentleman.  The coals of the fire was used by the ladies of a local church who was baking bread (rooster koeke) and barbecuing boerewors. I stood watching the activity. For long periods of time the gentleman would stand looking at his fire, hands resting on his shovel handle. Every now and again the call would come from the bakers for fresh coals. Then he would scoop out new coals from his fire and carefully deliver it to them.  His name was Oom Manie. For the 30 minutes I stood next to Oom Manie in silence, sharing the heat of his fire.

Oom Manie
A year later I took a sculpting class given by Marieke Prinsloo. I choose Oom Manie as the subject.

The clay sculpture ready for mold to be made

First casting in cement ready to be finished

Final sculpture

The success of Oom Manie inspired me to make the rest of the sculptures in the Portrait series. Oom Manie is produced in a set of 20 editions of which, only one has yet been sold.

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