RIP. Drew Lindsay – a gentle giant with a heart of gold and a soaring spirit

A giant tree has fallen 

Too young and too good to leave us so early 03/03/1956-12/10/2021

What a legacy Drew Lindsay has given Jozi. Apart from the deeply felt loss and sadness for his family, friends and colleagues, his passing has left a huge gaping hole in Jozi’s creative community. This gentle giant of a man who embraced all with his wide smile, his quirky humour, and his boundless grace, touched the lives of so many people. Drew founded the Spaza Art Gallery in Troyeville in 2001, a supportive environment for struggling artists and creative space for workshops, music and poetry gatherings and long companionable Sunday lunches in the welcoming courtyard. 

Andrew Lindsay’s mosaic works

Drew’s mosaic works are to be found all around Jozi – under the highway on Harrow Rd, the Cows at Transport Square, on rocks and paths at the Wilds, on street furniture and pavements, commemorating heritage sites – fractured images uplifting city spaces and enriching urban experiences.  He nearly always worked collaboratively and used the many public art projects to train and mentor a whole generation of artists.  

Cows
The cows at Transport square in Eastern Johanneburg were made by Andile Mswangelwa and mosaiced by Andrew Lindsay and the Spaza workshop. It seems they mark the site of what used to be an informal butchery.
One of Drew’s mosaics: backing to a built-in brick bench in eastern Johannesburg
Mosaiced waterfall near Nugget Street
Mosaiced images on the rock banks of Nugget Hill, Eastern Johanneburg
Small-scale mosaic spiders, scorpions and dragonflies playfully installed on the rock bank along Nugget Hill
The mosaic was commissioned by the Johannesburg Development Agency when it renovated the historic mining houses, in Bertrams road.  In March 1922 during the white miners’ strike, over 600 mostly unarmed men of the Jeppe and Denver Commandoes attacked the army depot at Ellis Park. About 8 soldiers and an unknown number of  strikers died.  The 42m² mosaic commemorates this event.

Little pieces of the Spaza Art Gallery at Liz at Lancaster 

Moss Jozi scenes painted on matchboxes
Telkom tower in its home at Liz at Lancaster

 

And he certainly did make art accessible. Stephen Faulkner in his recent tribute to Drew wrote that he “would hazard a guess that more people in Joburg have artworks in their homes that originated at or via The Spaza than any other gallery”. And that is probably spot on. Two little gems at Liz at Lancaster are the Telkom Tower and the Moss Jozi matchbox works.

Memorable conviviality around the table in the Spaza Courtyard 

Special times at Spaza lunches
And oh the food – so scrumptious

Farewell joyful dancer 

Drew was a passionate believer in the positive benefits of dance and it was in this context that I last saw him (during a Lockdown gap at the end of 2020) at Hoogland Hydro where he was giving a Biodanza class. Sadly I missed his Dancing in the Park earlier this year.  RIP Drew. 

May his legacy live on  

From The Spaza Art Gallery Facebook page

A small group has been established, as requested in his will, to try and sustain the Gallery, its work and legacy.  …  Donations would be most welcome in support of celebrating the life and work of Drew, and towards saving and sustaining the work of Spaza Art Gallery. Donations by EFT may be made to AJ LINDSAY CELEBRATIONS DONATIONS, FNB Savings account: 62575553477, BEDFORD GARDENS 963, Branch code 252155. Please make the payment reference: AJ Lindsay Celebrations. All donations and their use will be accounted for via bank statements and generally accepted accounting practices. 

20 October 2021 From the Andrew Lindsay Celebration and Save Spaza Art Team.

Check the Facebook page for details of the various planned celebrations of his life on the weekend of 30th and 31st October.  See also Ulfriedo Ho’s wonderful tribute to Drew. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A small group has been established, as requested in his will, to try and sustain the Gallery, its work and legacy. Details of this and various planned celebrations of his life on the weekend of 30th and 31st October will be announced soon.  Donations would be most welcome in support of celebrating the life and work of Drew, and towards saving and sustaining the work of Spaza Art Gallery. Donations by EFT may be made to AJ LINDSAY CELEBRATIONS DONATIONS, FNB Savings account: 62575553477, BEDFORD GARDENS 963, Branch code 252155. Please make the payment reference: AJ Lindsay Celebrations. All donations and their use will be accounted for via bank statements and generally accepted accounting practices.  20 October 2021 From the Andrew Lindsay Celebration and Save Spaza Art Team.

 

 

 

 

 

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