Artist cre­ates Man­dela’s face with metal pipes

The Mercury - - METRO - KAREN SINGH

A 23-YEAR-OLD Pi­eter­mar­itzburg artist used about 12000 scrap metal pipes to cre­ate a 3D sculp­ture of Nel­son Man­dela’s face.

Minenhle Nx­ele said it took him three months to com­plete the 3m-high by 2m-wide sculp­ture be­cause of the cast­ing of the steel.

“It was ba­si­cally like build­ing a house and work­ing with rows go­ing up,” said Nx­ele.

The Dur­ban Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy fine arts grad­u­ate said the most dif­fi­cult part of cre­at­ing the face was cut­ting the metal with a grinder.

The owner and di­rec­tor of Global Scrap Metal, Yu­gan Goven­der, saw Nx­ele’s po­ten­tial when he came across his CV af­ter he ap­plied for the post of scale as­sis­tant.

Goven­der said his com­pany had ex­pe­ri­ence in cre­at­ing an­i­mal sculp­tures and asked Nx­ele to start cre­at­ing di­nosaur sculp­tures. These were put on dis­play at the var­i­ous branches.

“Global Scrap was de­ter­mined to play a role to­wards up­lift­ing the un­em­ployed youth in the city and, with a strong pas­sion for metal art, we de­cided to use metal art as a medium to in­spire and teach youth the value of up­cy­cling,” he said.

Goven­der said that when the de­ci­sion was made to sculpt a face, Madiba was the ob­vi­ous choice. He said the Man­dela face sculp­ture would be dis­played at a new branch at the cor­ner of Boshoff and Greyling streets in the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg CBD next month.

The busi­ness­man added that there are six more open­ings for fi­nal-year art stu­dents to join the com­pany next year.

“We pay them mar­ket-re­lated salaries and teach them how to weld and bend me­tals at the work­shop.”

Nx­ele is look­ing for spon­sors to fund his dream of study­ing fur­ther next year.

“I am look­ing for spon­sors in or­der to go back and fin­ish my stud­ies and maybe part­ner with them to cre­ate art,” he said. |

ARTIST Minenhle Nx­ele, below, cre­ated a 3D sculp­ture of Nel­son Man­dela’s face us­ing about 12 000 pieces of scrap metal. It will be dis­played as an up­cy­cled art piece at Global Scrap Metal’s new branch in the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg city cen­tre next month.

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