Talisman Tusk (1989)
In 1988 I began a series of works with the theme of the "talisman". The talisman is a magical, protective charm worn or carried to avert evil from or bring good luck to its holder. I made a series of works which I saw as a triptych called "Talisman for Africa": "Yesterday", "Today" and "Tomorrow".
These works for me existed at two levels: The lower level being the political state of South Africa in "Yesterday", "Today" and "Tomorrow". The upper level represents the input of lucky charms to arrest evil and bring good luck.
The works were symbolic of the spirit of South Africa and the social and political turmoil of our times. I used the theme of the magical, protective talisman to project the eventual triumph of hope over despair. The talisman is a magical, protective charm worn or carried to avert evil from or bring good luck to its holder.
This work captures my horror at the slaughter of two of the most majestic beasts in nature for their tusks. Hanging as if it is a carcass in a butchery the tusk is adorned with symbols of eternity. At its tip is embedded a jewel to symbolize man's transformation of ivory into jewellery born out of greed.