The three art blocks entitled Selfhandhawing, Sweef and Vroue, deal with the legacy of the Afrikaner history. These art blocks propose the exploration of what the perception of Afrikaner history might be in the future. In the past the great monuments such as the Voortrekker Monument, Nasionale Vrouemonument and MT Steyn’s statue at the University of the Free State provided meaning to Afrikaners. These symbols were accepted as the legacy of Afrikaners and South Africans in the past. Currently, social, economic, political, environmental and technological developments have started probing to what these symbols could mean in the 21st century and beyond. The concept looks at how alienated household names and history could become or could still stay just as prominent but in a different perspective than their original state. While doing research for these art blocks, I thought what Homo Sapiens or extra-terrestrial life consider the meaning of the current and future Afrikaner in its Quo Vadis state.
Selfhandhawing examines the dialogue of movement of the statue of President MT Steyn. This statue was once a prominent symbol of the pride of the Free State and the country. Now that it is moved and protected, questions remain if the meaning will stay the same or the statue will be just another statue of the Afrikaner history. The art block features the statue of MT Steyn in a glass jar. This is a metaphor that states that Afrikaners would usually enjoy their treats later in a preserved form. Usually products such as peaches and beetroot would be preserved in these jars. Symbols of uncertainty hang in the air with the iconoclast (MT Steyn) that is removed. Mixed signals are sent out by these symbols trying to say right and wrong and if a new monument should ever appear. The golden egg represents the unknown potential because of this movement. For it casts no shadows on the ground, but no one know what is inside (the future). The green scaled figure with gleaming red eyes represents observers who are not acquainted with the history of MT Steyn nor the importance of why the statue was on campus. The green figure should be considered as the alien perception someone has when no context is given to the statue and it is just seen a current problem or solution. This figure represents the duality of no knowing the good nor the bad of the statue. The orange ground represents the Orange Free State or Free State province as it is known now. Further questions in this painting is the question of what happens to the statue’s artist (Anton van Wouw) intent and purpose of the original statue now the statue is being moved. How will meaning itself change?