Fly away Home - jaques Dhont

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Fly away Home - jaques Dhont

Fly away Home

This sculpture is based on the Legend of the Flying African, a legend common among the Georgia Sea Island Negroes who believed that some of the African slaves that were taken to America flew back to Africa. These Africans had magic powers and could just spread their wings and fly away. The American poet, Robert Earl Hayden, wrote a poem called O Daedalus, fly away home, because he recognized the connection between this legend and the Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus. For him, they both represent the same tragic longing for freedom, for the lost homeland.

Throughout history, people have moved across borders or have been forced to do so because of war, famine, religious, ethnic or political persecution, slavery and natural or economic disasters. With the advent of globalization, diasporas have become increasingly prevalent in the modern world. But however cosy a term such as “global village” may sound, the ostensible proximity wrought by the possibility of real-time communication across the globe cannot lessen the very human yearning to belong to a corner of the earth, to set down roots in a soil that can be called home. Even the most angstfree and rewarding resettlement in a new adopted country cannot wholly remove or hide an enduring sense of displacement, of being torn apart. Often, the only magical wings on which the displaced may return to their homeland are those of memory and  imagination. In this context, wings are a means of survival and flight becomes a symbol of detachment and transcendence.

Do you remember Africa?
O cleave the air fly away home
Night is an African juju man
weaving a wish and weariness together
to make two wings
O fly away home fly away
                                         
Robert Earl Hayden (1913 – 1980)


Height: 190cm
Width: 258cm
Depth: 30cm
Media : black wattle bark, sheepskin, cow bone, metal
Jacques Dhont: http://dhont.lando.co.za



Dié beeld is gegrond op die legende van die vlieënde Afrikaan, ‘n legende van die Georgia See-eiland negers, wat geglo het dat van die slawe wat Amerika toe geneem is, terug gevlieg het Afrika toe. Dié Afrikane het oor magiese kragte beskik en kon hul vlerke sprei en wegvlieg. Die Amerikaanse digter, Robert Earl Hayden, het ‘n gedig geskryf genaamd O Daedalus, fly away home, omdat hy die verbintenis tussen dié legende en die Griekse mite van Daedalus en Ikarus gesien het. Beide het vir hom die tragiese hunkering na vryheid, na die verlore land van oorsprong, verteenwoordig.

Deur die geskiedenis het die mens oor grense heen beweeg of is gedwing om dit te doen as gevolg van oorlog, hongersnood, godsdienstige, etniese of politieke vervolging, slawerny en natuurlike of ekonomiese rampe. Met die koms van globalisering het volksverhuisings al meer algemeen geword in die moderne wêreld. En hoe gemaklik ‘n frase soos “global village” ook mag klink, die oënskynlike nabyheid wat deur die moontlikheid van elektroniese kommunikasie reg oor die aardbol geskep is, kan nie die menslike behoefte om tot ‘n hoekie van die aarde te behoort, om wortel te skiet en ‘n plek jou eie te noem, verminder nie. Selfs die mees soomlose en lonendste hervestiging in ‘n nuwe aangenome land kan nie die durende gevoel van verlies of verskeuring ten volle verwyder of besweer nie. Herinnering en verbeelding is dikwels die enigste towervlerke waarmee ‘n vervreemde na sy of haar tuisland kan terugkeer. In hierdie konteks is vlerke ‘n oorlewingsmiddel en vlug word ‘n simbool van losmaking en transendensie.