Excalibur image

Dimensions: 600 x 240 x 240cm

200 sections of discarded Robben Island maximum-security prison fencing, 400 picket fence slats, 800 cable ties

Artist’s Statement

Originally based on the Helepolis – a Greek siege machine of war, and later structurally researched on the oppressive apartheid observation structures. I am planning a three story structure to be built at the site of the Apartheid ‘Trojan Horse massacre’ (1985) in Crossroads, Cape Town:

The purpose, like many famous tourist landmarks, is to raise the perspective, in this case, of the single story dimension of the township to a vantage point where views such as Table Mountain, the Helderberg Mountains and a crows nest view of the Trojan Horse Memorial can be reached. The intention was by implication to raise the hopes or ambitions of the neighborhood. However, a public project of this magnitude is an ambitious vision when considered in relation to the community’s involvement, health and safety measures, structural engineering and finances.

During the development of this work, I serendipitously came across the entire stock of the old Robben Island maximum-security fencing. The UNESCO World Heritage Site (1999) was being renovated, and the fencing was destined for a landfill in Vissershoek. I would therefore like to submit a metaphorical variation of the intended ‘Aspire’ by the same title, except the Gateway to Robben Island version will be made out of a pile of 250 stacked 240 x 240cm sections of fencing. The form is based on the guard towers on Robben Island.