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ARTWORK AT ALLIANCE (article first published : 2004-12-4)

World Aids Day 2004 activities in Durban have included an exhibition of artworks which can be viewed at Alliance Française, 22 Sutton Crescent (corner Windermere Road), Morningside. The artworks are for sale in support of the fight against AIDS as well as orphans and victims of the pandemic. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a near-lifesize, three-dimensional piece created in polyester acrylic resin by Durban sculptor Wendy Nell.

The sculpture was inspired by Gugulethu Dlamini, who was stoned to death in KwaMashu six years ago when she disclosed to her community that she was HIV positive.

Nell, who is also active on the performing arts front in Durban as co-director of Arlecchino Productions, has worked in the field of aids education through theatre, in schools, industry and adult communities with the Puppet Theatre Project Amagama Amathatu.

"In our research and preparation for Amagama," says Nell, "we had to face the extent of suffering and the difficulties that the HIV/AIDS pandemic leaves in its wake - and the denial, fear and prejudice that that surround it. Besides my work with Amagama Amathatu (a collaborative project between Gisele Turner, Mpume Mtombeni, Kaseran Pillay and myself) I wanted to express the above in another medium. The tragedy of Gugu Dlamini, her courage and the huge transformative influence that she has had on so many lives since her death inspired me to create this tribute to her."

A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of the Nell's Gugu Dlamioni sculpture will be donated to AIDS Orphans support organizations, including God’s Golden Acre at Cato Ridge, a home for about 100 orphans, and "eSimphiwe" Transitional home for abandoned babies, where babies cared for and adoption is arranged.

Corporate organizations or individuals interested in purchasing Wendy Nell's sculpture can contact the artist on 031 464 8905 or 083 775 8905 or e-mail: blye@telkomsa.net




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