BA thesis '15   /     The Contemporary Allurement of Our Fading Heritage

As part of my thesis for my Bachelor of Arts degree I conducted interviews with 4 contemporary young artists from different backgrounds on how they deal with actively incorporating elements from their roots and heritage, even though it seems to fade away from our daily lives. I was interested in seeing how other people deal with a similar situation to the one I was in myself. Working with elements from places, family and history one does not have a direct link with anymore. 

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Miya Ando    / fragile strength

As a 16th generation Bizen sword maker Miya Ando (1978) works very close to her familial traditions and ancient heritage. She has continued the art of sword smithing and Buddhist lineage by combining metals, reflectivity and light in her transcendent paintings and sculptures.

Carwyn Evans    / be-longing

Inspired by his own ‘migration’ from the rural countryside of Wales to its capital Cardiff, Carwyn Evans (1979) explores the different sides of internal émigrés within his artworks. The key elements being the cultural, rural and linguistics differences, but mainly also his own family’s history.

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Nika Neelova    / faded

The use of reclaimed architectural features and old timber are often the main choice of elements to work with for Nika Neelova (1987), largely because of the historical memory that is embedded within these materials. “They carry a story of a past life.” From these materials she makes evocative sculptures and installations that can be linked to themes as history, personal memory, and the rise and fall of civilizations.

Janne van Gilst    / haven

Growing up on one of the smallest island of the Dutch province Zeeland, Noord-Beveland, still has a great impact on how Janne van Gilst (1991) perceives the world around her. She is not only fascinated by the differences between the city and the countryside, but also has the strong feeling she can tell important things through them.