“I am interested in making things that prompt a sense of the complexity of the present.” Marco Cianfanelli – born in Johannesburg in 1970.

Marking the 50-year anniversary of what began Nelson Mandela’s ‘long walk to freedom’ – and the piece of land that, quite randomly, irrevocably altered the history of South Africa – is a quietly powerful new sculpture, set into the environment of this silently potent space. Made possible by the Department of Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) the uMngeni Municipality, the Apartheid Museum and the KwaZulu Natal Heritage Council (AMAFA) in association with the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, this historic memorial site was inaugurated and unveiled on the 4th of August 2012, by President Jacob Zuma.

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© Nelson Mandela Sculpture by: Marco Cianfanelli
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© Nelson Mandela Sculpture by: Marco Cianfanelli

The sculpture, by artist Marco Cianfanelli, significantly comprises 50 steel column constructions – each between 6.5 and 9.5 metres tall – set into the Midlands landscape. The approach to the site, which has been designed by architect Jeremy Rose of Mashabane Rose Associates, leads one down a path towards the sculpture where, at a distance of 35 meters, a portrait of Nelson Mandela, looking west, comes into focus, the 50 linear vertical units lining up to create the illusion of a flat image.

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© Nelson Mandela Sculpture by: Marco Cianfanelli
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© The Mind’s Vine – Tokara Wine Estate by: Marco Cianfanelli


Title: the mind’s vine
Installation date: May 2010
Dimensions:   height 3.72 meters, length 9.34 meters, depth 1.6 meters
Weight: 1.6 tons
Material; 4.5mm and 6mm Gr.304 stainless steel
Wine is a rich and complex phenomenon that touches on an extensive array of other subjects, which include art & history, religion & mythology, geography, politics and sociology, science and sensory perception, tradition & modernization. This complexity is the inspiration for the mind’s vine, which was commissioned for Tokara Wine Estate.
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© Mountain Leopard – Leopard’s Leap Winery by: Marco Cianfanelli
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© Mountain Leopard – Leopard’s Leap Winery by: Marco Cianfanelli
Mountain Leopard
COR-TEN steel,
Height 9.2 meters length 9.98 meters, depth 0.75 meters, weight 1.8 tons
This sculpture of a leopard standing on a mountain-peak is intended as an Iconic landmark that has a visual and contextual relationship to the Leopard’s Leap winery, the surrounding mountains of Franschhoek and the protected mountain leopards that inhabit them. The method of creating form through construction of laser-cut profiles, which is common in the artist’s work, creates a dynamic between abstraction and figuration, moving away from conventional forms of representation.
The leopard strides forward proudly, set high up against the skyline of the surrounding mountains. It is slightly smaller than life-size, exaggerating the distance from the viewer. The three steel profiles that create the head of the leopard represent the logo of Leopard’s Leap.
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© Inner City – The City Within by: Marco Cianfanelli
Inner City – The City Within
Dimensions:   height 33.04 meters, width 16.24 meters, depth 0.7085 meters.
Material: Stainless steel
The title of the artwork is a reference to the image created by the reflective, perforated steel screen-panels that clad the catwalks and columns of the atrium. The image is a montage of several photographs taken during the construction of ABSA Towers West. The photographs were taken from the fourth-floor catwalk, of the view along Marshal Street, to the western side of the city. The resulting image is a representation of the city and the daily activities of the people that inhabit it. Larger figures are superimposed onto this image at the levels of the catwalks, creating a relationship between the image of the city and the people that work in the building.
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© DICC Sculpture document – by: Marco Cianfanelli
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© DICC Sculpture document – by: Marco Cianfanelli
DICC Sculpture document
Two groups of figure profiles, mounted on the granite plinths, next to the stairwells (main entrance).
Title: Incarceration – emancipation
Installation date: October 2009
Dimensions (Southern stairwell): 1750mm tall x 1190mm wide x 3310mm deep
Dimensions (Northern stairwell): 1760mm tall x 1015mm wide x 3310mm deep
Material: 10mm HRMS
Finish: Rusted metal polished with pigmented wax
Installation: Profile pins anchored to plinth with epoxy (2 to 3 pins per profile)
Figure profile colour: Customized variation of colour
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© Eternal pursuit – Marco Cianfanelli
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© DST Sculpture – Eternal Pursuit by: Marco Cianfanelli
Title: Eternal pursuit  – DST Sculpture
Rusted mild steel
Height: 6.2 meters, excluding plinth
Installation date: May 2006
The motivation for Eternal pursuit was to speak about science and technology in a manner that was bold and inspiring, yet familiar. The title symbolizes our ceaseless endeavors through science, to understand as well as control our universe.
The larger-than-life silhouette of a man, combined with arcs, creates the profiles that are repeated 24 times in a radial arrangement that is symmetrical. These profiles are connected to horizontal rings, creating a spherical structure that suggests measurement and analysis, be it molecular or universal. The view of the sculpture remains unchanged, always facing you, regardless of your vantage point, creating a sense of balance and continuity.
Science is a human preoccupation, which we define, and yet in return, we are defined by science. Within this dynamic, rests the value that science can have for humanity.
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© The sum of us: Forum Homini by: Marco Cianfanelli

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© Urban Being by: Marco Cianfanelli
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© Urban Being by: Marco Cianfanelli
“Standing man” sculpture, off Hilda Street