Fiona Kirkwood

Fiona Kirkwood is a South African artist who lives in
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. She works in fibre and mixed media
to produce contemporary sculptures and installations


paper, polyethylene, beads, galvanised steel, paint, condoms, video, video monitor, hospital bed, hospital screens, cotton sheets


550cms x 750cms x 200cms


This installation at the 13th World AIDS Conference in Durban showed a gender and race neutral terminally ill HIV/AIDS patient, whose hand is symbolically reaching out for help. The head of the patient is composed of symbols and shapes of the HIV virus, which I have personally observed through a microscope. The beaded HIV/AIDS ribbons on the arms and body symbolize my support for people living with HIV/AIDS.

The condom quilt on the bed, made up of 840 condoms, represents the protective quality of the condom and reinforces the need for a continuing HIV/AIDS prevention programme.

On the floor is information concerning HIV/AIDS including medical literature and press cuttings which I gathered over a two year period.

The video adds a multi-layered meaning to the work.

"In March 1998 Minister Nkosana Zuma told Parliament that 1500 South Africans were infected with HIV every day - a rate almost four times higher than in 1993. South Africa now has the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world. The government estimates that there are about three million HIV positive South Africans, very few of whom are aware of their condition" (Southern Life "Managing your Future" Newsletter May 1998).








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