“Heritage” has many meanings although it is directly linked to who we are and where we come from. For some of us the focus of our heritage is very personal; it is our family and the values, history and characteristics shared by our grandparents, parents and siblings. For others it is a wider circle of people, incorporating a shared language, shared traditions and culture, while for others it may include all those from the same country or continent.
The common element is that heritage is about the past influencing the present and being relevant to what direction the future will take. There is a sense of accumulated knowledge passed down from one generation to another and this knowledge is found in the food we eat, the objects we make, our sense of style and the stories we share. There is a perception of belonging to something bigger than ourselves and yet at the same time a need to hold on to what is unique about who we are, based on where we come from.
Our heritage has many levels, it is both tangible and intangible. It is evident in the natural environment that we inhabit as well as in the things we create and the memories we share. We carry it with us in the stories we tell, the buildings we live in and the artworks we make.
South Africa has a turbulent history where focussing on our differences had a negative impact, however in the past few decades we have been encouraged to reclaim, restore and preserve the various aspects of our different heritages in order to acknowledge our diverse heritages and celebrate each other. This is why we have Heritage Day as it is a time to understand, appreciate, recognize, and respect each other’s culture.
Our heritage is part of what we are as it is directly linked to our identity. One of the ways we express our identity is through the things we make and consequently artworks are important custodians of heritage. In our small way Artyli is adding to the growth of our heritage in South Africa, by enabling the creation of artworks, working alongside our talented artists to bring you the viewer and the collector memorable artworks of beauty and value .
Copy by Karin Basel