Bronze statue at Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital salutes nurses
Share this article:
Pretoria - The Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital in Muckleneuk has chosen to earmark and commemorate the hard work of nurses who have been at the forefront of the Covid-19 pandemic with the installation of a unique bronze sculpture.
The iconic sculpture was crafted by renowned South African sculptor Angus Taylor, known for his powerful and monumental works using a range of materials from his immediate environment. It was officially unveiled on International Nurses’ day last week.
The theme for this year’s International Nurses Day was Nurses: A Voice to Lead a Vision for Future Healthcare and, according to the private hospital, the sculpture honoured 117 years of nursing and was a fitting tribute and addition to one of South Africa’s oldest private hospitals.
“The 2-metre-high bronze sculpture is to honour the many professionals who have proudly upheld the nursing profession and have been part of the fabric of the hospital for more than a century.”
Robert Jordaan, managing director of the hospital, said the artwork paid tribute to the compassion, commitment and selflessness of nurses, and the prominent role they had continued to play in delivering superior nursing care through the ages, more especially during the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Unveiling this impressive sculpture in these unprecedented times serves as a tribute to the nursing professionals of the hospital who been unwavering in their commitment to patient care.
“The sculpture will serve to remind the nurses of Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital of the gratitude of the management and patients of the hospital and the vital role they play in caring for their patients with professionalism, commitment and dedication.”
Jordaan said the project was commissioned by the board of the hospital in 2019. It would become part of the rich history of the hospital. It would be prominently positioned for all who work at and visit the hospital to enjoy.
He said that as a personal touch, the features and measurements of eight nurses working at the hospital were combined to represent the multi-faceted characteristics of South Africa and its people to create the single, iconic South African nurse.
“The work of art incorporates special characteristics which bring collective acknowledgement to all nurses of all cultural groups. Given the history of the hospital, which dates to 1904, shortly after the Anglo Boer-war, the sculptor depicted the nurse in the uniform of Florence Nightingale.
“The sculpture was specifically designed to allow shadows to bring life to the eyes of the artwork. Very few public works of art acknowledge the role that women played through the ages and I believe that this is also the first sculpture in our country dedicated to the South African nurse.”