Nadine Gordimers' short story about a young girl, who flees Mozambique with her family and walks through the Kruger Park to a supposedly better life in South Africa, has been made into an artists book. The text is complimented by hand-printed lithographs drawn by Dorah Ngomane, Aletah Masuku and Alsetah Manthosi, who have all made the dangerous trek on foot to South Africa, and who have recalled their journeys in print form.
South Africans, living in one of the most xenophobic countries in the world, tend to look at every immigrant from across the borders as someone "who takes our jobs". After reading this story, and looking at the images, nobody could possibly think of refugees in this way again. We are all essentially the same, and need to work together to overcome the divide created by political demarcations. The Artists' Press has donated a number of these books to selected development and art organisations which seek to build a better southern Africa.
THE ARTISTS: Dorah Ngomane, Aletah Masuku and Alsetah Manthosi, live in Welverdiend, near the Kruger Parks' Orpen Gate. The women do not normally work as artists. They earn a living as seasonal labourers on nearby farms.
COLLABORATION: The lithographs were drawn on ball-grained aluminium plates by the three artists, during a workshop facilitated by Tamar Mason in Welverdiend in 1995. The women were new to the lithographic printing process and the making of images on paper. The workshop was a difficult and sometimes traumatic experience for the three women, as they closely identified with the story. The drawn plates were proofed at The Artists' Press in Johannesburg, and hand-coloured by the artists.
PRINTING: A limited edition of 100 books has been printed by The Artists' Press. The 52 page artists' book contains twelve original lithographs, and has been hand-printed by Mark Attwood, Joseph Legate and Peter Sekole. The paper used is White Arches 250 gsm, 100% cotton, acid-free. The text has been typeset in Univers, and hand-printed on a Vandercook letterpress proof-press. The book measures 20 x 29 cm.
BINDING: The books have been hand-sewn and hand-bound in linen cloth by Peter Carstens of Johannesburg. Each book is supplied with a matching slipcase. The wristwatch endpaper lithograph was drawn by Alsetah Manthosi.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The Ultimate Safari has been used for this project with the generous consent of the author. Production of this book has been made possible in part, through a grant from The National Arts Council of South Africa.
FURTHER INFORMATION: If you would like to know more about the book, please contact us.