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Words by the designer:

During the apartheid era the beauty of black women was completely lost on most white males. This was an indoctrinated loss, the causes of which, we are well aware. But even after the opening of the gate in 1994 most white people could not see the beauty of a black person – male, female, it didn’t matter, for some people the ability to see a beautiful sexual being was very difficult.

This difficulty transfers to all the qualities of black people – The ability to recognise intellectual ability, leadership qualities, integrity, moral standards is all hampered, to this day by the same indoctrineindoctrination.

This image addresses these issues. The background is black and the image is cream and white hinting that we are all just reflection of light. The sheet indicates sexual modesty/discretion.descretion. The obvious beauty of the subject speaks for itself but its not just skin beauty its the beauty of the being. IntelligentIntellegent, witty, resourceful charming and successfulsuccesful.

The angle of the head shows a peacefulness. This is the most powerful quality of all. The ability to accept the past as the past without revenge, without retribution and just move on, take over and very patiently and peacefully empower change. in a manner which other worlds, Northern Ireland, Slovakia, Israel and many more have been so poor in emulating.

Finally, the foot is dominant in this image, the very thing we stand tall on. The soul. Pride.

Steve Mandy is a Springleap Featured SA Designer

Steve Mandy was born in Scotburgh, KwaZulu Natal. In 1960 his family emigrated to England, Yorkshire where Steve completed his high school education and then proceeded to serve in the British army for six years.

At the age of 41 Steve discarded his financial calculator for a career in art after discovering a hidden talent for drawing. He took art lessons and sought the advice and mentoring of other artists in Durban.

In a recent interview Steve mentions :

“My story is a fairy tale.

All my life I have imagined what it might be like to discover a talent I never knew existed - like being exposed to radiation and becoming the incredible hulk or something - For me it was Art.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever consider becoming an artist, and yet from an experiment on the dining room wall a talent emerged that I never knew existed.

I don’t know who to thank for turning my life on its head, but the last few years of my existence have been the most exciting ever, constantly discovering more and more, and every time I draw or paint I am once again amazed at what emerges. Please don’t ever let me wake up from this dream….”

Steve has exhibited at numerous established galleries and is particularly well known for his work in the South African fashion industy. He works closely with Kevin Ellis, Haroun Hansrot, Nadine Pillay, Francois Vedemme, The Holmes Bros, Karen Monk-Klijinstra and Iqbal Hoosen.

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I think this is ABSOLUTELY brilliant!

Steve - nice one!

shoutBack on 1/6/08 by Eric