December 16 Heroes Day

A work made of lithograph in black and red on white wove paper.

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  • A work made of lithograph in black and red on white wove paper.

Date:

1983

Artist:

Thamsanqa (Thami) Mnyele
South African, 1948-1985

About this artwork

From 1952 to 1994 Heroes Day celebrated the founding of the African National Congress’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK for short)—the “Spear of the Nation.” Thamsanqa Mnyele based his illustration on a photograph by Zenzo Nkobi. The delicate photostenciled image highlights the relationship between ordinary people and liberation fighters.

The textured and shaded ground that the figures stand upon emerged accidentally. Mnyele mistakenly used a lacquer-based paint while printing instead of a watercolor one. After multiple printings, the lacquer dissolved portions of the image on the printing screen, so that paint seeped through the screen in unexpected places. Mnyele liked the effects but did not want to risk losing the image, so he had the remaining posters commercially printed.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Thamsanqa (Thami) Mnyele

Title

December 16 Heroes Day

Origin

South Africa

Date

1983

Medium

Lithograph in black and red on white wove paper

Dimensions

605 × 422 mm

Credit Line

Gift of Artworkers Retirement Society

Reference Number

2018.438

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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