Trajectories

Exhibited at LAND, 2013

Institute of Creative Arts (formerly GIPCA)

During my research in my final year at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT, I came across an important document regarding my family’s history in Cape Town. 

 

In 1848 my great-great- great grandfather, who came from England, married my great-great- great grandmother, a Black woman, in the original St Georges Cathedral. Noting the date of this marriage, and the emancipation of the enslaved at the Cape in 1834, it is more than likely that my maternal ancestor was born enslaved. The proximity of the actual and symbolic presence of slavery in the Slave Lodge, so near to her place of marriage, is particularly startling to me. The space between the Cathedral and the Slave Lodge has become suggestive to me of the historical trajectory of many South Africans who share similar stories.

The area itself is a pedestrian hub of activity, as it is frequented by Capetonians and visitors alike. Trajectories, the title of the work commemorating this event, was a floor piece using text and excerpts from archival documents drawn from my research. The texts covered Parliament Lane sporadically, in a ‘time line’ fashion, and was created using stencils and building sand. The sand could be blown away, walked through or touched. I envisioned the intervention on a single morning, and allowed the work to be gradually destroyed through its interaction with pedestrians during the course of the morning. The sand was then swept away, leaving no permanent damage to the space.

Photographs: Amber Myers