The human side of Joburg’s mosaic master Andrew Lindsay

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Andrew Lindsay was widely known for his mosaics and murals, but he’ll be best remembered for making art and heart matter in a city that can be as hard as stone.

The commemoration to the 1922 miners’ strike along Bezuidenhout Street in Bertrams saw him bring on board a group of 10 women from the neighbourhood who were victims of the xenophobic riots in 2008. Some of them became part of the women’s collective that made up his mosaic-making team over the years.

Lindsay’s friend Simon Mofutsana was one of the artists he mentored more than 20 years ago. “I met Drew when he came to Thembisa in about 1993 to work in the community. He shared with us his art skills and he was always kind and wanted us to learn all we could. He was a good person and it’s very sad that he is gone.”

Inevitably, the “new” he pushed would be Biodanza, dancing that fuses music, movement and emotional expression. Lindsay danced with freedom and abandon, even in a body more ursine than gazelle. But understanding that the limits of the body are superficial made him a gifted Biodanza teacher who gave classes to those in wheelchairs and the elderly residents of an old age home.

“He became a family friend and also a dance partner for me. We would go clubbing together at places like Jameson’s, Kings of Clubs and also places where people of different race groups could gather under the radar.” Sharon, who is married to Ian, says, “He was eccentric, different, but it helped him learn early on how to see and solve the injustices in the world with warmth and kindness.”

 

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