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.
Vroue asks questions about unity among Afrikaners and the country. Emily Hobhouse is regarded as one of the Afrikaner’s most important female heroes of all time. Her actions uplifted more than just a community of women that she helped during the Anglo Boer War. She inspired countless more Afrikaner women to strive to be the best person they can be. The monument remembers the heroism and suffering of the women in the Anglo Boer War as well as the importance of not disregarding any human being in South Africa. However, this monument as beautiful as it is, is more masculine than feminine. There many reasons for this including the burial of MT Steyn and General Christiaan De Wet, the 37m sharp pointed obelisk (Emily Hobhouse’s ashes are in the base of the obelisk) and the brute tone of the sandstone. The feminine can be observed in the beauty of the bronze statues and plates. At the inauguration speech of the monument, president MT Steyn warned that the Afrikaners will cease to exist if they continue with their divisiveness. This warning seems to be not just a product of it’s time but also statement meant for the past, now and the future. A lot of damage was done due to the division which the Afrikaner caused to other fellow South Africans during the Apartheid era. Currently, Afrikaners are paying the price for their divisionary behaviour from the past. The painting strives to look in how the Afrikaner could see unity for the whole South Africa in order to survive. The painting consists of the women of the monument. One looks in the horizon of what could come while the other one stares at the back view of the monument itself. The back view of the monument is also a candle which represents the hope this monument has brought to the whole nation and not just Afrikaners. The message that South Africans must unite despite suffering.The monument is also on top of a cake in this painting. This suggests that like birthday cake which celebrates a person’s life every year, we should reflect annually on the meaning of the monument. The background of the picture is candle wax which represents the fuel that keeps the light of the monument burning. The question if this wax is eternal or will the flame of hope for all burn out with the current and future times? Other elements (the stack of cucumber slices and figure in the middle) in the painting are about the changing times.