The artist who created the controversial Selborne College class of 2017 poster has apologized for “any misunderstanding caused by the artwork”, saying it was never meant to have any racism or prejudice in it.
The school governing body at Selborne College issued a statement this morning giving the artist’s explanation behind the poster that sparked outrage on social media.
The poster shows two human-like dogs next to each other, one carrying a faceless figure and one appears to be running with it’s mouth gasped.
The words “Class of 2017 Selborne College” written on it.
The poster, apparently used in an invitation to an event to celebrate the end of school career of the class of 2017, was allegedly created by a pupil.
The image was shared on social media yesterday, with Facebook users saying it was a spoof of the photograph of a dying Hector Pieterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo with his sister, Antoinette Sithole, running beside them.
According to the SGB’s statement, the artist who is not named, said he was inspired by an iconic image that he saw in history text books.
“I was commissioned to do an artwork that expressed loss, grief or sadness that the matrics at the time could relate to.”
The artist, allegedly a pupil of the 2017 matric class, said his intention was to adapt the photo into a Selborne-based artwork. “The two humans have been adapted into dogs as symbolism to our school. Selborne is often referred by its official symbol of a Greyhound or Whippet dog and was no way meant to be derogatory or disrespectful to any person.”
He said the male dog represented a devastated old Selbornian who has to hand back his blazer and the female dog represented family and friends who were equally shattered by the pupils’ end of school career.
“I wanted an artwork to represent (our) emotional feelings at the time of leaving the school, only for Selborne matrics of 2017. I viewed the iconic image as a powerful symbol of loss, that then brought forth better futures (historically speaking), and thought it was a good relatable image for our class and its success to come.”
By Aretha Linden/DispatchLive