Ancestor

Superimposed over a stainless steel skein that references the scaffolding that was used to create the building, is a selection of 50 names sandblasted onto glass panels. Each refers to an instance of significance for South African science and technology – signposts along a road marking significant scientific contributions by South Africans to world knowledge. ‘Heart transplant’, self-evidently refers to South Africa’s ground breaking achievement in this field. Less well known, ‘IsiLimela’ refers to the use of the Pleiades constellation by the Xhosa in determining the time of planting.

The names gain new synergies when considered in these spaces and in the context of adjacent words or phrases and the viewer engages with scientific history in its myriad multiple manifestations. It is a site for public access and encounter. (Wilma Cruise and Gavin Younge)