Works from 2016
Conceptual statement: Sasol New Signatures entry
Ceramics studios have a distinct smell. From where I sit Michael is framed with light, his form reflected in the damp, wooden objects in the ceramics studio, and his eyes focused on some loose drawings laid out in front of him. A FM radio buzzes in Luganda and behind me, soft-spoken and quiet, Henry Bombooka sits patiently buffing a piece of pottery with a shiny river stone. We glance towards the
door. Ella has come in, clasping an extravagant handbag, two plastic flasks with milky tea and some pieces of fried kassawa in a brown paper bag. Carol laughs. I can see her in front of the pottery wheel, resolutely but gently bending her fingers around a long-necked piece of moving clay. The air is damp and the studio cool. Unaware that I am watching him, Michael tilts his head, contemplating some nuance in the drawing before him.
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This painting it is a tribute to Omadi Michael, Bbalaba Edward, Bombooka Henry, Ssekibala Andrew and Adongo Carolynne, who created a safe space for me as an outsider, at a time when I was without support. With ongoing instances of xenophobia in South Africa, I have become acutely aware of the importance and impact of hospitality. Truly, the support of foreigners and minorities in SA does not reside in the hands of international policy makers, but meets us in the everyday spaces of shops, campuses, studios and homes.
The two small landscapes on the left-hand side were painted to commemorate a local hiking trip to Stettynskloof, where in 2014 I acquired a serious ankle and foot injury which put me on crutches for 7 months. Last year we did the hike again, enjoying the scenery so much that we arrived hours after dark. The two paintings (really vignettes) aim to capture the distinct moment of dusk in the mountains.
The three paintings on the right depict some scenes from the Cederberg, one of our favourite South African camping destinations.
Three more vignettes inspired by the Cederberg
Cederberge - wolke en rooibos 20 x 15cm Oil on board, framed
Horison - Cederberge 21 x 15cm Oil on board, framed
Cederberge - blou skaduwees 20 x 15cmOil on board, framed