BIC pens are synonymous with back to school adverts but who would’ve thought you’d ever see large sculptures made out of the iconic pens? Registered NPO, SHOUT SA – which was founded by musicians Danny K and Kabelo Mabalane in 2007 – has joined forces with well-known visual artist John Adams to further its mission to develop libraries in the poorest communities of our country. Part of the collaboration included the creation of three inspiring sculptures by John.All of the art pieces are of the late, great Nelson Mandela and are made out of the yellow BIC pen with the blue cap. “The sculptures took a little over 5 months to create,” says John. “Together with SHOUT SA our mission is simple, increase literacy and empower children with the tools they need to learn and succeed. “By reaching young kids and encouraging them to work hard at get educated, they’ll be better equipped to live a successful and purposeful adult life. “The Madiba pen sculptures will be utilised to create awareness and raise funds to continue building libraries across primary schools in the poorest of communities.”Approximately 60 000 to 70 000 BIC pens and six and a half litres of superglue were used to complete the three sculptures. The first sculpture is a statue of Mandela and depicts his very popular stance. An upright silhouette of Mandela with one hand in the air, saluting the nation. The second sculpture is a portrait of Mandela’s face, which has become iconic all over the world and the third sculpture is a pen box, with the words “Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world,” inscribed on the front.Each breathtaking sculpture depicts Mandela’s legacy and ideology of installing the importance of education in the South African nation. For John, the toughest part of the project was trying to figure out how to create a sculpture with a 3D perspective. But seeing the finished product was worth it. “The most rewarding part is seeing these sculptures complete, to see what I created, using a simple pen,” he says. “I’m now inspired to create something bigger!”SHOUT SA already has the ball rolling and has raised R7 million, which has been used to build ten libraries around the country.