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OUR LOGO : ‘River Styx’ or ‘River Sticks’?

In ancient times the Styx was a river in Hades across which Charon ferried the souls of the dead. Using parched driftwood from a riverbed (‘river sticks’) in the arid and primordial Karoo, South African artist Hermann Niebuhr constructed a surreal 21st century ‘bridge’ between the land of the living and the land of dead souls.

Closely focussing on the fragile interaction between mythological ‘bridge’ (structure facilitating the spiritual ‘journey’) and ‘water’ (symbol of life) causes the ochre ‘land’ to become obsolete on both sides of the black, dividing abyss. In this ‘transformation’ process the ‘earth’ (stability) thus disappears to make way for the abstract and mysterious journey of the soul. No longer confined by the constraints of time and space (the vanishing angular frame) it is now possible for the image to evolve once again - this time to resemble a Jim Dine-like heart, suggesting a paradoxical balance between bright yellow ‘river sticks’ and the dark, cerulean river itself.

Having transcended its original purpose of linking the two sides, the bridge assumes a new role (reminiscent of the shape of the African continent) and becomes an inherent component of integrating the rational with the emotive.

© 2014 Change Management Facilitation (Pty) Ltd
© Text : Harvard Law School (PON) and Conflict Dynamics. © Images : CTI, Die Burger, Microsoft and Kobus Opperman