Freedom and Focus: The Nelson Mandela Capture Site
I had seen photos of Marco Cianfanelli's sculpture "Release" before, so I thought I knew exactly what to expect. Hop out of the car, take a few photos, and move on. I was wrong.
First, a walk through the (temporary) museum. Tall printed panels discussing the events leading up to Mandela's capture (and subsequent imprisonment on Robben Island) are set up in a maze-like fashion. The site's permanent museum and multi-purpose building is currently under construction and projected to open later this year.
Then, a walk down the 'Long Walk to Freedom' pathway to the sculpture. The grass lining the pathway builds into higher mounds as you inch closer, muffling the sound of nearby passing cars and birds almost completely. Then, you reach the marker for the exact point from which you can view Mandela's silhouette.
The 50 black steel columns shooting towards the sky each represent one year since Nelson Mandela was captured on August 5th, 1962. When viewed as individual beams from any other angle, the sculpture doesn't quite make sense. Collectively, from the right place and timing, it all comes into focus. Thought-provoking, indeed.
Entrance is free, though donations are encouraged.