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Südafrikanische Botschaft
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19. July 2017

Maureen Quin's Magnificent Mandela Bust to Emblazon Embassy During Mandela Centenary

On the occasion of this week's Mandela Day, award-winning South African sculptor Maureen Quin has offered her magnificent Mandela bust to the South African Mission as a loan throughout the Mandela Centenary celebrations, officially starting on 18 July 2018, the day Madiba would have turned 100.

"We are very honoured and pleased that this beautiful bust of Madiba, crafted by our beloved sister Maureen Quin will ornate our Atrium for more than a year. This is the kind of initiative we want to encourage from our friends and partners when we start honouring the life of this great son of South Africa" said Ambassador Phumelele Stone Sizani.

Born in 1934 on “Bishops Glen” in the Bloemfontein district, schooled at Eunice High School, Maureen won a bursary for the School of Fine Arts in Durban (1952 -1955), where she studied under Mary Stainbank. On completion of her diploma she was granted a bursary to study sculpture at the Goldsmith College of Art in London with Robert Jones and Harold Parker. (1956)

Maureen Quin’s keen sense of observation and classical training has enabled her to produce sculptures which are in all aspects alive. Although her training was “Western”, her most characteristic work is essentially African. Practising her art away from the mainstream art centres, isolated from the influence of her colleagues, Maureen has successfully commented on topical social concerns. This is evident in “The Hunt” series where the degradation of our surroundings for material gain is illustrated, and in “The Interaction” series, from which “Thanksgiving” and “Revelation” are drawn, which is a series of work that praises the positive, caring interaction between societies. Her latest sculpture “Culprit” expresses her revulsion for child abuse and male dominance through sex. The rhinoceros mask represents the senseless destruction of species for the use of aphrodisiacs for male gratification.

In 2014 to celebrate Maureen’s eightieth year and sixty years as a professional sculptress, Virginia Reed curated a retrospective exhibition which opened in March 2014 at Oliewenhuis Museum, Bloemfontein. Maureen was awarded the Medal of Honour for Visual Art from the South African Academy of Science and Culture in 2016, and in 2017, Maureen's series "The Hunt" was for the first time exhibited in Germany and Sweden. Ms Quin’s collection of sculptures graced the occasion of South Africa’s Freedom Day in Berlin in April 2017, Maureen toured Germany and Sweden with great success before she headed back to her home in Alexandria.

“Her work constitutes without a doubt a solid investigation of the form and the spirit of man. Figures which often appear to be deprived of volume succeed in scanning the horizons (limits) of time. She succeeds in fusing the abstract and figurative world of Henry Moore, the surrealism of Giacometti and the world of Africa, all mixed with the most intimate essence of the artist herself.” Dr Agurtxane Urraca, Goya, Revista De Arte, Madrid 2001.


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