:: Melkhoutfontein, Stilbaai, Western Cape, South Africa::
:: February & March 2016 - March & April 2017 ::
:: 2016 - 10m x 3.5m (approx) - Emulsion on Side Elevation ::
:: Frank & Family's House, Melkhoutfontein, Western Cape, South Africa ::
:: Deep gratitude to fellow mural realisers Debbie Asuncion, Ferdi Daniels and David Woodard ::
This mural is the realisation of the Timewalk design envisioned by Katrina Solomon and originally intended for the side of her house. Due to continuing building work, it wasn't possible to create the mural there and so Frank's house was selected as an ideal site for this complex image. Frank's house is at the entrance to Melkhoutfontein, and the mural can be seen from a quarter of a mile away as one drives down the road towards the town. Thus the prehistory and history of the community's people is well-placed.
We see, from left to right, a representation of the shell middens near Stillbay and then the beginnings of the region's deep and ancient prehistory in the image of Blombos cave and the red-ochre-painted dancers thought to have lived there some eighty thousand years ago. Next we see three images representative of Bushman culture which was important in the region before the coming of the Khoekhoen people, whose imagery comes next and merges with the Strandloper Khoi culture. We move into the historical period with the sinking of the Irish ship in Stillbay and the late but fondly-remembered community patriarch Moses Kleinhans giving Anthea Rossouw and the Kamammas the mission of becoming the Dreamcatchers for Melkhoutfontein. Above this scene, we see the setting up of the local school with its blue roof, and an image narrating the coming of Christianity and the consecration of the recently-restored St. Augustine's church next to the graveyard with the spirits of Melkhoutfontein's ancstors rising above. Finally, an image of Melkhoutfontein's future is seen at right, with all the houses painted up in vibrant colours representing the final aim of the three-year 'Paint Up with Kamamma' project.
This mural has caused quite a stir in the community, and is situated along a road along which many people walk during the day. Even while I was painting, many people stopped and asked questions. Several people seemed deeply moved to see their history. One woman, on seeing the completed mural, was so deeply moved, all she could whisper was "dit is baie mooi, baie mooi, baie dankie" - it's very beautiful, very beautiful, thank you so much. I hard these words a lot during my stay!
Frank and his grandchildren (including Ferlin, left) in front of their favourite parts of the mural...