14 Mar 2009

If you think I've got a thing for matchsticks, then let it be known that it's all about one. . . . matchstick . . . for me. Whereas for these two guys- they realllly have a thing for matches.

I went with my Mom to the Absa Gallery for the Absa L'Atelier Art Competition on Thursday. It was the exhibition of all the Johannesburg entries, and my friend Alastair Mclachlan's fab multi-dimensional photo got through to be one of the finalists, which will exhibit in a few months time. This competition is not only the oldest art award in the Southern hemisphere, it's also one of the most prestigious and the richest in Africa. The lucky South African artist who wins not only gets a scholarship and trip to Paris, but also has a nice little line on their CV for posterity.

One of the entries this year was from Lehlohonolo Mkhasibe:

Lehlohonolo Mkhasibe's Masterpiece

Lehlohonolo Mkhasibe
Mixed media
I used a lifeline and called a friend who translated the title of this piece as "something inside"- and there was something inside the head: lots of old tapes. This R40 000 head is made up of hundreds of matchsticks- all burnt at the end! I wonder if the artist collected all the matches used while smoking... or just lit and blew out the matches for this piece…

Last year I went to the finalists' exhibition, and one of the top 10 finalists was Marthinus Stephanus (Stephan) Erasmus. Now he used 65 460 matchsticks to make a 200cm x 200cm x 200cm boat. And on each and every single matchstick, he wrote "I love her" on all four sides. That means he wrote that phrase 261 840 times! Geez man, that's patience.... or a major bout of love! The 'love boat', a metaphor for the love between 2 people, reflects the fragility of love with the fragile construction of the matches, which also represent the passion (they could catch alight at any moment as they were not used ones)! After some digging around, I found a photo of the love boat:

Erasmus's Love Boat

Marthinus Stephanus (Stephan) Erasmus
The Boat
Mixed Media

I wish Alastair the best of luck for the finals soon! I hope you get to go to Paris!!

One Response so far.

  1. Hi Telana,

    This is really super cool and I love the artwork. It has given me some ideas.

    I am into matchstick kits and I think this is incredible art.

    Look forward to more of this kind of stuff from you!

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