Diane Tipping Woods
Hanging on the Hill. Preview, The Lost Men, Cue reporter 2004
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Paul Emmanuel has hung Grahamstown’s past out on a line in an exhibition entitled The Lost Men. Like washing from the Monument, 21 pieces of silk voile blow in the wind. They ripple against the landscape, changing in the sunlight.

“Specific pieces of my body were impressed with lead type, and then photographed,” Emmanuel explains.

“They were the names of the men who died in the Makana Wars. The Xhosa names were never recorded except in stories told by the white soldiers. They aren’t even full names.” He recounts how the imprints had to be photographed before they began to fade. Then the photographs were transferred onto the silk panels.

Emmanuel’s exhibition exploits the landscape historically and geographically. “It’s that sort of contrast; an ironic juxtaposition with this and the Monument,” he explains. “I wanted to oppose so much of what the Monument is about, like permanence, granite, hardness, brick and mortar. I’m playing with the ideas of memory on a direct level, with the weather, the elements, changing conditions.”

Emmanuel believes memory is about impermanence.