The writing returns to the wall with an historical art exhibition by international award winning and avant garde Pretoria based artist, ALETA MICHALETOS.
She feels comfortable when referred to as a contemporary idealist, visionary and alchemist.
With her pioneering spirit and the forging of her own unconventional route, she has managed to blaze her own path and which inter alia led her to the United Nations in 1994, where she joined the ranks of Dali, Chagall, Miro, Rauchenberg and others, by winning the UN Art; Philatelic Award!
Well-seasoned, ‘PRECIOUS CIRCLE’ has now come full circle and together with the 3 equally iconic, symbolical portraits of Mandela and a single oil painting: ‘United at last in the Cause of Peace’ (2002), this valuable collection celebrates the 20 years of our democracy and pays homage to Nelson Mandela in several thought provoking ways. It also celebrates the 20th anniversary since it was first exhibited at the Pretoria Art Museum in 1994.
Witness the visible proof of this local artist’s miraculous journey which lasted 6 years, as she documents the hopes, dreams and aspirations of a society in transition during the bleakest time in South African history.
Through the transforming processes of Alchemy, her daily collection of and the gradual accumulation of positive headlines, which she single-handedly sourced from the media over a period of 6 years (1989-1994), unexpectedly ended on the day of Mandelas inauguration 10th May 1994. The astonishing result was 50 positive collages, which when placed side by side, span a monumental 22 meters.
It is with good reason that her life motto has become: Baby steps, Giant strides, Quantum leaps!
Don’t miss this opportunity to pause and reflect in front of these significant works (National Treasure created from trash!) which are as timely as they were 20 years ago and which have been a silent testimony at the Pretoria Art Museum since 7th November 2013 (exactly one month before Mandela passed away). They are still on view until the middle of July 2014.
Hear about the catalysts, organic development and process of transformation, which resulted in ‘PRECIOUS CIRCLE’ and flowing from that, the first portrait of Nelson Mandela: ‘REBIRTH’ (which won the United Nations Art & Philatelic Award in 1994) as well as the 2 additional portraits: ‘GOD BLESS MADIBA’ and ‘MANDALA MANDELA’. (All 3 exhibited at the UN Headquarters in 1994)
For several decades Aleta’s gradual sense of a Society that was ‘out of order’, culminated during the late 80’s when destructive atmospheric conditions became unbearable.
Identifying with the country’s agony and her own feelings of despair and helplessness (caused by traumatic media coverage of political events) MICHALETOS felt compelled to reverse the trend.
Her way of taking it upon herself to transform the situation through direct intervention and so becoming a protagonist, was the conceptualization of her tour de force, ‘PRECIOUS CIRCLE’.
Remembering ‘in the beginning was the word’, she found solace in words and for the next 6 years, a seemingly chaotic collection of news clippings of positive headlines (collected entirely from ordinary Newsprint) was methodically arranged to create 50 orderly collages and entirely transformed the ‘war of words’, into a monumental ‘wall of words’.
Michaletos sincerely believes that by paying attention to words, you activate, energize and release the power of the ideas which are encapsulated in the words themselves, thereby bringing them to life.
They then become catalysts for action and change. As in themselves words are impartial, it is up to you, the spectator, to choose which words you wish to energize.
It is your own responsibility to build character or a spirit of endurance and by the consistent and frequent repetition of ‘Baby steps’, which transform into ‘Giant Strides….. the process of accumulation results in the achievement of ‘Quantum Leaps’ and the eventual Triumph of the human spirit!
OUR DESTINY IS NOT A MATTER OF CHANCE BUT A MATTER OF CHOICE & CHANGE
Finding better words for a better world, and undertaking actions where words speak loudly, the walls of division became the catalyst for a 22 meter long wall of unison.
Now, as we stand in front of PC we are called to order in quiet Monastic Contemplation and come to realize that we can transform the world word by word.
Copyright ©Aleta Michaletos