Every Sunday, prison officials carried out inspections of the communal cells in Number Four. The blanket sculptures in this cell - flowers, couches, stools and tanks - are typical of the objects that priseners made for these Sunday parades. Prisoners with the most creatively decorated cell would win privileges for a week, such as cake or an extra slice of bread each day.
The blanket sculptures were also made as a way of pleasing the cell bosses. Blanket couches were offered to them as a form of comfort during the day. Blankets were also used for recreation. They were used as boards for games with toilet paper markers and lines drawn with soap. Prisoners also passed the time by carving soap with spoons or small pieces of wood from trees. They created paper mache sculptures by shredding pieces of paper and mixing them with soft sop-sop (blue soap mixed with water).
The blanket sculptures and soap carvings in this ceil were created by two ex-prisoners, Isaac Luphindo and Vusi Tshabalala, for this exhibition. During the process, these ex-prisoners reflected on the meaning of these elaborate creations: "These things remind us of the world outside the prison walls, the life we left behind and the things we long for,"
Text: Constitution Hill Museum