'They came and left footprints' signed 'C Mpho' and inscribed with title Rhodesian teak 203.2cm (80in). high
PROVENANCE: Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, 1976 Collection of the late Anthony Quinn
Rorke's Drift artist Shilakoe's work consists mostly of highly expressive etchings and wooden carvings that relate to the theme of African legends and reincarnation. Shilakoe's life was tragically cut short when he died in a motorcycle accident at the age of 26. The Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, the venue for his first solo show two years prior, held a memorial exhibition in May 1973, and it is likely that the present lot and the next were included in that retrospective.
More recently, in 2005, three further wooden sculptures were discovered among a collection of eight previously unknown pieces at his family home in Dennilton, near Bronkhorstspruit. These formed the basis of the touring exhibition Cyprian Shilakoe Revisited, curated by Jill Addleson. Another smaller totem is in the collection of the Johannesburg Art Gallery and is illustrated in Visual Century: South African Art in Context (vol II, p.160).