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Rainbow of Hope

Living with HIV - a narrative artwork. The young artists of MADaboutART got thousands of people around the world talking and thinking about HIV through their Rainbow of Hope artwork.

18 Panels – acrylic on canvas – 2005
18 Panels – acrylic on canvas – 2005
1 Mar 2019
Club News

From the dark days of diagnosis, coming to terms with a new normality; knowledge is power, support from relationships, rebuilding life, moving forward with strength.

Each panel shows a faceless person or persons at part of their journey. Faceless because of secrecy and shame often surrounding living with HIV. The artist's spirit (outlined in white) helping the person move on step by step; reaching out, supporting, lifting, holding.

Young people from MADaboutART in South Africa aged between 11 and 25 worked for a year interviewing friends, family and each other; working towards greater understanding of living with HIV. Emotions common not only to HIV but many journeys in life.

The result was the Rainbow of Hope – telling a story but making its own story. A journey which has taken its young artists around the world. To London for World AIDS Day 2005, next to the World AIDS Conference in Toronto and then back home to Cape Town for World AIDS Day 2006. It now has a permanent home in our gallery at MADaboutART in Knysna, South Africa.

The young artists of MADaboutART got thousands of people around the world talking and thinking about HIV.

Panel 1 - Artist: Larry

The world around me swirls … it pulses with black feelings. I sit across a small table mute and deaf watching the bodiless mouth explaining some stuff… but I absorb nothing in my state of numbness. Normality melts as I walk away. Out of that door behind which all my future, all time, stopped. The time is gone. I held it once in my hand but now it has gone. The tears of shock swirl in unstoppable streams. But as my tears drop, each one holds hope. It takes just one ray of light from someone to shine on just one drop of hope in the darkness and the RAINBOW of HOPE begins... 

Panel 2 - Artist: Oupa

I cannot escape FROZEN in this space… Faces show my different kinds of energy and emotions. Some cold as ice. The AIDS ribbon shows I am HIV-positive. People are laughing at me and shouting “Go away”. People don’t want to see me. Their words are hurting me, I am CRYING (white dots). I don’t know what’s going on, why people are looking at me. I want to know, “why do you people run from me”. I the artist reach down to pull you up.
Read Oupa's Hero Book here

Panel 3 - Artist: Ebby

Questions…………? It can’t be me! It must be. I’m me! I’m fighting the virus that fills me, forgiving myself yet still at times asking WHY ME? I’m trying to overcome my situation positively. At times I can’t stand up because the virus is like a tight rope around my feet. In my feet the RED RIBBONS are there because. I live in a Positive community. My dream is to be one day helping other people in hospitals to work with people and helping them. I want to be a person with Life. I the artist stand firm and help you rise.

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