T.O.L.E.R.A.N.C.E Sculpture

We share with you the story around the installation of the TOLERANCE sculpture which can be found on the Cheetah Slopes. Mark Read, an alumnus of our College and owner of the Everard Read Gallery has temporarily gifted us this sculpture by renowned international artist Guy Ferrer. We are honoured to be given the opportunity to host this structure for a while. Here he speaks of why this artwork is of importance and how it challenges our thinking.

T.O.L.E.R.A.N.C.E – a major sculptural work Ferrer created in 2007 in response to contemporary religious tensions – has been widely acclaimed and displayed in France, Germany, the United States, Poland, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa (this artwork was displayed at Hilton College in 2018). With these nine monumental bronze sculptures, Guy Ferrer offers his reconciliatory vision, a message of hope, mutual respect and tolerance. Ferrer's powerful sculptures remind us that tolerance requires us to take time to reflect and cultivate an openness to others.

Mark Read: Everard Read Director and St Stithians Alumnus

A word from the artist…
“A word becomes intelligible because of each letter, each one being indispensable and of equal importance in order to carry out the meaning. In this way, the various cultures and spiritual beliefs of our different societies can live together fraternally and complement each other in the shared hope of a dynamic and reciprocal respect.
My emissaries invite you to meet them, to respect their differences and their beliefs. Together, they speak to us of harmony, of peaceful totality and the sharing of meaning. Discover each letter and consider the key message of the installation – “Tolerance” by Guy Ferrer.

In her whole school communication at the start of Term 3, our Rector, Celeste Gilardi wrote as part of her introduction to the artwork, "In trying to understand Ferrer’s thinking behind this artwork, I watched a YouTube video and was particularly interested in his choice of the word TOLERANCE and I quote him 'in the French language tolerance carries a sense of proactivity, a sense of positive engagement, it is nothing related to the simple acceptance or laxidity which will be the worse meaning.'"  The video, from the Festival of Faiths can be viewed below.

Guy Ferrer: Festival of Faiths

Click here to read the thoughts of Old Stithian and Jesuit Priest, Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ, who visited our campus recently and wrote an article on his reflections regarding the T.O.L.E.R.A.N.C.E sculpture.  Matthew works at the Jesuit Institute and contributes to Spotlight Africa, he cares for the Jesuit Community in Johannesburg and also teaches part-time at St Augustine College.

The following presentation was put together to give a further interpretation of T.O.L.E.R.A.N.C.E - this is an opinion and interpretation of the artwork and may not necessarily reflect the thoughts and interpretations of the artist himself.

We also share an Alternate View on T.O.L.E.R.A.N.C.E as shared by one of our parents, Charles Mwebeiha.