Art as a generator of built form : towards a working museum at Rorke's Drift.
Broadly speaking, art can be described as man’s emotion made tangible, providing a visual memory of the past. Resistance art is no different save the strength of its embedded meaning bound to context through signs and cultural references. In a pre-liberation South Africa, resistance art formed one of the critical voices of opposition to the apartheid regime and from the Rorke’s Drift Art and Craft Centre in Zululand this voice resounded. The memory of this together with the memory of the Rorke’s Drift artists has become dissociated from the actual place resulting in a gap in the history of South African art as well as the history of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa. In light of this, this document explores the potential of art to generate built-form. By examining the link between man, society and art through the review of relevant literature, it is found that memory can be revived as a key driver behind the meaning of art and built-form through the provision of place as governed by issues of cultural identity, symbols and meaning context and the experiential. This conclusion is extended through precedent studies to include the art in question and is proved through the use of a case study. The significance suggested is that there is a global opportunity for art to provide meaning to the built environment and a local potential to directly address the loss of meaning and memory of Rorke’s Drift. In other words, it is proposed that meaning can be returned to Rorke’s Drift if the fundamental issues of memory are addressed, thereby continuing the narrative of South African art and contributing to it in the future.