Talita Swarts Tshoko Barutswana (Chalk Learners) 2003 | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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Tshoko Barutswana (Chalk Learners) 2003

The installation artwork Tshoko Barutwana consisted of a table made from an old broken black board, a photo album, a white music box with black velvet lining and two pieces of chalk carved into small figures of school children. Above the installation a light made from the lens of a projection apparatus hung. Primarily the work commented on the lack of resources in rural schools, but it also communicated concepts such as potential and the fragility of these children.

The black board used in the installation illustrated the irony of their situation. Rabana Primary School (a farm school in the North West Province) was given black boards by the department of education, but lacked simple resources such as chalk and so were unable to use the newly installed black boards. A special day was organised at Rabana Primary School during which chalk was donated to the school.

The photographs of school children that were displayed in the small album were taken during above mentioned event. The box displayed in the middle of the ‘table’ can be explained as being a music box. When the lid is lifted by the viewer, a recording of the children singing praise songs started to play and the two carved figures from chalk appears. The two figures were carved from chalk which created a visual metaphor of the potential and fragility of these rural children. The use of the light was simply to shine a light on a subject.


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