Kopanang Universe Canticle Returns
March 2 – April 16, 2017On World AIDS Day, 2002, the Faithful Fools Group Ministry of San Francisco commissioned a unique piece of art from the women of Kopanang Community outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. Living with HIV/AIDS, and coming from many different cultural and language groups, the women of Kopanang had formed a day community to support one another through fellowship, song, art, and direct education and care of each other’s children. The commission from Faithful Fools was for an embroidered depiction of the birth of the cosmos and of life on earth. In short a celebration of life and of the inter-connectedness of all beings. With the support of Dominican Nun, Sister Sheila Flynn, 17 women responded to the challenge. The result is a 35-metre long masterpiece of stunning, colorful panels, each depicting a critical “moment” in evolution, from the big bang to the advent of plants, animals, humans, languages, and finally to contemporary questions about endangered species and our responsibility for the earth.
Since 2002, the Kopanang Universe Canticle of 31 exquisite panels has traveled the globe, in recent years under the guardianship of the Mariposa Museum. It has been exhibited in South Africa, Europe, the U.S., and Australia, and will travel to Canada next fall. While its original creators have since passed on, the Canticle and its message remain as a testament to the power of creativity and community in the face of adversity and a reminder that we are all part of a universal family.