The restoration of Mother Mary comes with an endearing story.

I recently moved to the magical Rustenberg Wine Farm in Stellenbosch where I am renting a cottage and work in the Brampton Bull Pens which I have transformed into my art studio.

When I moved in I became aware of a little boy Jayden, aged 11, who seemed to just wonder around on the farm during school hours. I found out that he hasn’t attended school for more than two years. After visiting a few schools, I realised that it was problematic to get a child back into the system after they fell out; not only because of his more mature age, but also because he most probably forgot most of what he he learned in grade 1 and 2.  

Finally, after two failed attempts, I visited Saint Ida’s Primary School where I met with the headmistress Ms Rippenaar.  She asked me what I do, and we made a deal – I’ll fix the school’s broken sculpture of Mother Mary, and she will, in exchange,  make a plan to get Jayden back into  the school system. 

And here we are today – Mother Mary has proudly taking her place at the front entrance of the school and I see Jayden proudly walking week days with his new school uniform, his suitcase and his shiny black shoes to school. I am filled with much appreciation and joy to share this story of mutual healing, fixing and restoring faith with you.  It turns out to be easy to help mend a broken world … that is if you have Mother Mary on your side. And wine, of course.

Also see Antoinette Louw’s rubriek in the Burger where she wrote a beautiful article about the restoration of Mother Mary: Oor ‘n seuntjie en die groot ‘onweet’; 2 Junie 2018, SIELSGOED.