Encapsulating the importance of time

07 December 2020
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Time is arguably the most important commodity we have. Without it we can’t realise our dreams or achieve our financial ambitions. But we also know that time can be cut short when we least expect it, or our plans can be hindered by the unforeseen.
The global pandemic has brought this home to us all. Time with family, time to think, time to love, time to grieve and time to reflect. For each of us, time has become even more precious, and we have learned to observe and appreciate it.
We wanted to find a way of encapsulating this idea in something that would be reminiscent of these unusual times we find ourselves in, and remind us how time should always be respected in everything we do on behalf of our clients. So, we commissioned a piece of art named the “The importance of time”. Here is its story.

The coming together of art and wealth management

As lead sponsor of the 2020 Collect Open Award at the International Art Fair for Modern Craft and Design earlier this year, we had the privilege of meeting the inspirational and innovative artists exhibiting there. In talking with them, we found that art and wealth management are unexpectedly similar. Our materials might be different, but we both use skill and collaboration to transform something ordinary into something meaningful and of real value that lasts for generations to come. Indeed, the same spirit that guides and inspires artists to create cultural wealth is what drives our wealth managers to grow and preserve clients’ wealth. And like our portfolio managers, financial planners and other investment experts, these artists have spent many years honing their craft and developing their skills.
We were in awe of the beautiful creations on show at Collect 2020 and everything they stood for:  inspiration, innovation, hard-learned skills, many years of experience, repeated practice, time and care – even the guts to take calculated risk at times. These traits ring true for our business and reflect our own behaviours and values.

Glass artist, Edmond Byrne working on our commissioned piece of art "The importance of time"

Collaborating with creative talent

Our appreciation of this craftmanship and a desire to support the craft industry - particularly amid these difficult times – led us to commission two of Collect’s artists: Edmond Byrne and Adi Toch. Together their unique collaboration of glass and metal and merging these materials in a way that has never been done before, has resulted in a sculpture that is the perfect metaphor for our idea: “The importance of time”.  Their lovingly crafted copper bowls, filled to different levels with molten glass, signify the accumulation of wealth over the generations – each spilling over into the next life stage.
But it’s the process with which these two remarkable materials were brought together that is perhaps the best reflection of why time is crucial when creating something long lasting and meaningful. Taking care and attention when working with each material, until they are ready to be brought together. Then when glass meets metal, and they interact in that moment, reacting quickly to enable the colours to form and create something truly special.
Just like artists, time is so important in the work we do as wealth managers. Sometimes we must act on in an instant, adapting and reacting to the environment around us to enable and protect our craft. Other times we must wait patiently, since only time can bring the result we are looking for.

Close up of Sanlam commissioned art "The importance of time" created by Adi Toch and Edmond Byrne

A time for reflection

Here at Sanlam, we will use “The importance of time” as a reminder of everything we hold dear. To inspire us to always serve the needs of our clients and help them manage their wealth for now and for the future. That we are here in the moment to make that happen, as well as being respectful of the time it takes to create something meaningful and long lasting.
We hope you find some inspiration from it too.

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