Artist’s Statement: Hein Botha, “ReLink”

Exhibition opens 30 March 2018, 18:00, Prince Albert Gallery

The San left a legacy of imaginative, layered rock art images not always accessible or understood. These first people of this land, shared a highly connected orientation with regard to each other, their natural environment, their spirit world and their stories. In sharp contrast to our techno-connected world, theirs was a rich, multilayered, truly inter-connected universe.

San rock art and stories are often ambiguous, idiosyncratic and layered in symbolism. In essence, characteristics that lie at the roots of all innovative artistic expression. I feel that my life, and hopefully my art is influenced and enriched by my immersion into the art of the San. Their eternally fresh imagery, childlike playfulness and the vast record of their universe has taught me what I like to refer to as, “cosmic clowning”.

It gives rise to the creation of refreshed visual connections, imagery and metaphors. In the final analysis San art needs to be viewed as the restoration of the ‘broken strings’ between their world and ours. It should be the basis of restoring our links to our fellow creatures, our ancestors, the spirit world and lost stories.

Our time starved, self-absorbed existence of today needs the restoration of the primal links and healing rituals emanating from the time-honed sensibilities of the San people.