dream catcher

This sculpture is dedicated to the Ubuntu Education Fund, and was inspired by the following paragraph taken from their mission statement: We are a community institution, and we support the most vulnerable children along the pathway out of poverty. We don’t focus on how many children we reach, but how deeply we reach each child. We are in the business of transforming lives from cradle to career. Giving these township children the same opportunities to succeed as someone who is born into privilege allows them the opportunity to realise their full potential, but by giving them hope, the organisation also gives them the wings to fly wherever their imagination can take them. The artwork’s title is intended to have double connotations; firstly, it can represent someone who literally goes out to realise his/her dream: In ‘Dream catcher’ a young girl sits on a doll’s bed, a simple wooden structure used to act out the role of nurturer during role play. Healthy role play is of the utmost importance; it forms an understanding of self, helps us on our career paths and gives us goals to work towards. For this to happen children need a safe home environment where they are nurtured and cared for. The bed becomes a make-believe magical vehicle ready to safely transport the girl to any place she can imagine. She holds tightly onto toy windmills and the viewer is asked to participate in imagination by helping her to float away to where her future will take shape. Secondly, the title of the artwork also makes reference to the handmade Native American object, the dreamcatcher, which consists of a willow hoop on which a web is woven. Hung above the bed it protects one from nightmares. Bad dreams are believed to pass through the hoops and out of the window, whilst good dreams are trapped in the web to slide down onto the sleeper below. By creating a safe and healthy environment for underprivileged children, Ubuntu acts as a dreamcatcher, protecting them from their harsh environment and supplying them with the necessities to learn – most importantly, however, Ubuntu gives them the time to play, imagine, and enjoy being a kid, and above all, the time to dream.