Founders
May 9 - May 28


Artist Statement “Discoverers” and “founders” always evoke a number of emotions as well as their own particular set of difficulties for us. They set in motion the irrevocable events which would both create and affect the future nation. Our perception of them varies with time from that of the elevated hero, when monuments are erected in their honor and their accomplishments are exalted in our memory, to a place of irrelevance. Their founding of the “new world”, of course, intervened with the ancient societies already established there, creating a complex pluralistic society, still evident today in North America, South Africa, Australia etc. So it happened that in 1652 Jan van Riebeeck sailed into the Cape of Good Hope with his three ships of settlers and “all the locals came across the mountain to view the ‘first’ man at the Cape”. With him, arrived my forefathers and my lineage extends from this early settlement in South Africa to my departure for Canada in 1989. My relocation to Canada set in motion a series of events which affect my family and descendants in our new country. In time these descendants will be fully assimilated into their new homeland. This relocation fueled my interest to produce some paintings around the concept of founders, and van Riebeeck in particular, as metaphor for this continual immigration process and, in a way, re-birth of mankind in general. My research and recent visit to South Africa, in December of 2001, has lead to these paintings. Through subject matter, such as foundations, shelters, descendants and the timelessness of landscape, I aim to challenge our perception of nationalism, belonging and place.