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Nadine Gordimer

"Nadine Gordimer, an outstanding artist, has a way with words, but more than anything else she has had this tremendous commitment and caring about people, caring about justice.” – Desmond Tutu

The portrait speaks of her enormous contribution to South African and world literature, but also, quite playfully, reflects the wonder world that words, books and writing has always held for Gordimer. The portrait title is ‘On her Word”.

Nadine Gordimer perched lightly on these oversized recreations of her books, an ethereal figure framed at her Johannesburg home by the lens of photographer and filmmaker Adrian Steirn. Her books, larger than life, reflect the magnitude of Gordimer’s achievements, and her enormous contribution to South African and world literature, which earned her the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. They also, quite playfully, reflect the wonder world that words, books and writing has always held for Gordimer. The works that she sits on are her first novel, The Lying Days, and four of her books that were banned in South Africa.

Steirn says, “One of Nadine Gordimer’s defining statements is that there’s nothing bigger than the Word. I wanted the size of her books in the portrait to reflect that.”