Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Barry Jackson "Bow Hunter" Ed 9/15, Bronze

One of Barry Jackson's favourite subjects are the Bushmen people of Southern Africa.  They were the first people to inhabit Africa and they were the only African people that practiced art.  No one knows how long they have been here but rock paintings have been found that predated the pyramids of Giza by thousands of years, as far back as the Stone Age.  They are still here today, many living exactly the same lifestyle they did then.  They were prolific artists and their rock paintings, found all over Southern Africa are a record of their life style, culture, and deep spiritual beliefs and remain artistically significant even by today’s standards.  Some of their caves are decorated in a magnificent cathedral like way and some even liken them to the religious works of the European Renaissance.  The Bushmen are now however a displaced people and their numbers are declining.  The arrival of the white man in Southern Africa who considered the Bushmen thieves and vermin and slaughtered them at will, and the black man who migrated from the north and treated them just as mercilessly, together did all they could to wipe them out.  The peace loving and for the most part friendly Bushman who killed only to survive stood no chance.  He has been forced to the fringes of civilisation; most of his hunting land has disappeared, and his way of life has been outlawed thanks to civilisation and politics.