Arts, Culture & Heritage

Invented Mythologies

Last Updated: September 27, 2023
Artist

Doung Anwar Jahangeer

A Brief History

Concept submissions were received in November 2009 for a new public artwork for the upgrade of the Ellis Park Precinct. The artists selected were Noman Katherine, Doung Anwar Jahangeer, Usha Seejarim, Shepherd Ndudzo and Nandipha Mntambo.

The concepts were assessed by a panel of artists, designers and City of Joburg officials. The quality of concepts and models made by each artist was high and provoked some discussion, but the submission by Doung Anwar Jahangeer stood out and received a unanimous decision by the panel.

Description

The steel sculpture was inspired by Jahangeer’s interest in the idea of the Genius Loci — the spirit of place. The work draws on a wide range of experiences and references, triggered by the artist's direct observation of the planned context for the work. On the one hand, the work was partly inspired by the sight of two dragonflies over the Jukskei River which runs through the precinct, which in turn let to a chain of associations that brought together characters from two different South African plays: Master Harold and the Boys (Athol Fugard) who taught the wind to fly, and Gcina Mholpe’s Have you seen Zandile? who saw the birth of rain when the water grew wings and started to fly.

The artist explains these references in the following way: “While Master Harold was teaching the wind to fly, Zandile was going down to the river to fetch water. Zandile witnessed the wind learning to fly, and rushed to the water to tell it the story. But before she could finish her story, the water became so excited that it grew wings and started to fly and rain was born.”

Artwork Signage

Concept submissions were received in November 2009 for a new public artwork for the upgrade of the Ellis Park Precinct. The artists selected were Noman Katherine, Doung Anwar Jahangeer, Usha Seejarim, Shepherd Ndudzo and Nandipha Mntambo.

The concepts were assessed by a panel of artists, designers and City of Joburg officials. The quality of concepts and models made by each artist was high and provoked some discussion, but the submission by Doung Anwar Jahangeer stood out and received a unanimous decision by the panel.

Location & Address

101 Beit St, New Doornfontein, Johannesburg, 2094