With the redevelopment of the inner city the Johannesburg Development Agency and other stakeholders are investing heavily into sculptures and artwork to beautify Jozi. I invite the doomsayers and detractors of this great city to take a walk with me early on a Sunday morning and I’ll show you beauty, far removed from the violent perception you might have of Jo’burg
In front of the Bassline in Newtown is a beautiful bronze sculpture of the original wild child Brenda Fassie done by Angus Taylor. This flawed Queen of Excess, called "The Madonna of the Townships" by Time Magazine in 2001, died tragically in April 2004 after a suspected cocaine overdose at the age of 39. Fassie was South Africa’s top-selling, once-in-a-generation performer known as MaBrrr or simply Brenda by her to fans.
Angus Taylor, the Pretoria-based artist was commissioned by the Sunday Times to create the sculpture as part of the newspaper’s Heritage Project. This work is a radical departure from the usual, simply a bare-foot songstress casually sitting on a stool on a stage, before a microphone. An empty stool is next to her, inviting the viewer to come closer and take a seat. Brett Pyper, Wits University’s head of heritage and management studies, said at the unveiling of the sculpture.
"Brenda’s iconoclastic persona is going to shake up the tone. She stands for a far more contemporary, youthful take on what counts as heritage,"
"I am the one and only Brenda. I am the star, I am the moon,"
“I don’t believe in dreams – I think of things and most of all I’m grateful to the media – once I leave the stage the crowds go home” - MaBrrr
This is a truly beautiful work that fits nicely into the spirit of Newtown.
I am fortunate enough to own one of Angus Taylor’s sculptures; a bust from his 2003 “Barefoot - Baggage Free” exhibition. I was as a gift on my fiftieth birthday from my very own ♥ Girl. This series of work focused on the strong, New Age woman. It is not the conventional Venus-type metaphor of erotic beauty, but conveys calm, strength and determination.
To read more about Brenda Fassie and the Heritage sculpture go to:http://heritage.thetimes.co.za/memorials/GP/BrendaFassie/
More examples of Angus Taylor's work can be found on his website