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The Medicine Chest

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  • Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning

    Cyanotype on paper. Ink on perspex. The work shows the exact positioning of the stars from J.M. Barrie’s window at 3 Adelphi Terrace, London (51°30'N 0°7'21"W), on Saturday, 19 June 1937 – the night of his death. Based on the direction of his window, I was able to locate the ‘second star to the right’ at the 45 degree angle he would have stood and viewed the night sky. Hopefully, he reached his destination, after departing the flat and traveling ‘straight on till morning’.
  • Flood

    Photo of water in Jagger Library by photographer, Lerato Maduna. On 18 April, the Jagger Library — the medicine chest's home — caught fire. The fire started on the lower sections of Rhodes Memorial at the foot of Table Mountain, and set alight landscape, monuments, and many of the university’s buildings. The library only caught fire in the late afternoon, but became a raging inferno as books, artworks, manuscripts that were worked on frequently, institutional, and administrative records of Special Collections, as well as the entire African Film collection, all went up in flames.
  • Woman, woman, let go of me

    In the chapter he titled, 'When Wendy Grew Up', J.M. Barrie recalls how Wendy tried, for Peter’s sake, not to have growing pains – and how she even felt untrue to him when she got the prize for general knowledge. But the years came and went without bringing the careless boy and Wendy eventually grew up and got married. If you feel sorry for her, don’t. Barrie tells us that Wendy was the kind of girl that liked growing up and that in the end, “ she grew up of her own free will a day quicker than other girls” (1989:182). All grown up with a daughter of her own, Peter visits her again one night while she’s sitting in front of the fire, darning. She hears the crow call and the window blows open as of old, Peter dropping to the floor – looking exactly the same as ever. “He was a little boy, and she was grown up. She huddled by the fire not daring to move, helpless and guilty, a big woman. ‘Hallo, Wendy,’ he said, not noticing any difference, for he was thinking chiefly of himself; and in the dim light her dress might have been the nightgown in which he had seen her first. ‘Hallo, Peter,’ she replied faintly, squeezing herself as small as possible. Something inside her was crying, ‘Woman, woman, let go of me’” (1989: 185 - 186).
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