2001
 
ARTWORK IMAGES
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UMHLABATHI UMHLABATHI
UMHLABATHI UMHLABATHI
UMHLABATHI UMHLABATHI - detail
UMHLABATHI - detail UMHLABATHI - detail
UMHLABATHI - detail
 
UMHLABATHI RETURN TO ARTWORK LISTING
SEE ALSO GAIA AND AUTOCHTHONOUS JOURNEY

Venue: Installed at the front entrance to the Mpumalanga Legislature, Nelspruit
Description: 200 handfuls of soil in small receptacles placed on glass shelves in ten secure wooden cabinets

 
Umhlabathi is the siSwati word for 'soil' and the artwork UMHLABATHI brings homage to our indebtedness to the soil. The Freedom Charter states that "the land shall be shared amongst those who work it" and countries, at last free from foreign rule and domination, are delighted to assert their independence by reclaiming their soil. Not only is soil the mother of people, animals and plants, but the constitution, laws and ideals particular to a land are also firmly rooted in it. In modern parlance such home-grown dreams and aspirations are known as the autochthony of a country and the people who live for them are the autochthons - literally the "children of the soil".
 
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