Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Keiskamma Altarpiece at the Faculty of Theology (Stellenbosch)

“This remarkable piece of work is important for the Faculty of Theology because it represents hope in the midst of the socio-economic and physical realities of poverty and HIV/Aids.”
This is how Ms Lina Hoffman, Manager of the Faculty of Theology, describes the Keiskamma altarpiece, which will be on exhibition in the Faculty’s Attie van Wijk Auditorium until 14 September.
It took 130 women of the Keiskamma Art Project in Hamburg in the Eastern Cape seven months to complete the altarpiece. The artwork honours the memory of people in the area who died of HIV/Aids, and celebrates the community’s determination to prevail despite the disease.
The altarpiece is a combination of embroidery, wire sculpture, beads and photographs, and includes several panels depicting various scenes. The closed panels depict the crucifixion from the perspective of people without material resources, trying to find meaning in their lives. The panels also show a widow in traditional Xhosa wear mourning the death of her husband due to Aids.
On the opened panels, photos of an abundant live with trees, birds, churchgoers, and a harmonious rural existence illustrate hope, deliverance and restoration. Fully opened, the altarpiece shows dramatic, life-size photos of three grandmothers and their grandchildren, some orphaned by Aids, and their hope for a better future.
The altarpiece can be viewed on weekdays from 08:00 to 16:00. For more information contact Karin Linders at 021 808 3255 or e-mail

From NEWS from Stellenbosch University