Body Map 10 (life-sized print)

CCAC #: 0648L
Artwork title: Body Map 10 (life-sized print)
Artist(s): Nondumiso Hlwele
Year made: 2002
Artwork type: Paper
Medium: Digital inkjet print on paper
Dimensions (mm): 1951 x 1120
Artwork series: Long Life Project Body Maps
Source: On loan from Jane Solomon
Year acquired: 2023
Installation type: Movable artwork
Location area: On public display

This is a life-size replica of Nondumiso's body map. It was printed as part of a set for travelling exhibitions purposes. Nondumiso created her body map to show her family and friends that she has accepted the fact that she would die from HIV/AIDS, but through body mapping she has found the strength to live.

Nondumiso Hlwele's statement

If you hear the president saying something you think it’s the truth. But here in South Africa the president is not always telling the truth. Jussis it’s bad.

After I started going to MSF, Doctors without Borders, I told both my parents that I was HIV positive. My mother said, “Why do all my children have to be like that?” A sangoma in Transkei had told her that all her children were going to be sick, but he never told her which disease they were going to have.

My brother told me about MSF when I got sick, sick, sick. I had things – the brown marks on my painting – like ringworms on my skin – it looked like a brown map. My skin was very light before but it slowly started to get a grey colour, then it went darker and darker. It started to itch when I was eating the TB tablets, then my skin started to peel like a snake. I felt like going underground. People were going to ask me, “What’s wrong with you?” Why are you so dark? So I just stayed inside the house and caught an early taxi to the clinic and came back again. I thought to myself there’s no future, I’m going to die. I have nothing. No children. My family is still poor.

The only things I want is to get rid of are these marks. I don’t know where I can go and just be me. The ARVs have helped a lot but this skin is taking time to get better. By the second month I was well. It’s amazing. When I had flu it would stay a long time, but now when I get flu, it goes away quickly.

On my picture I drew the virus – it’s a small blue dot. The red circles are the ARVs eating the virus and the virus is going down. The white is my blood. The ARVs are strong. Look what I have written under my left hand.

CCAC 671611

Photographer: Buntu Makhedama

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NOTE: The process of photographing artworks in the CCAC is underway - we are currently working to improve image quality and display on the CMS but have included internal reference photos for identification purposes in the interim.