Venus devouring her children

Art portfolio- my work

"Venus devouring her children" 2014 embroidery on rubber. (photo courtesy of the curator Alex Hamilton)

“Venus devouring her children” 2014 embroidery on rubber. (photo courtesy of the curator Alex Hamilton)

The time is coming closer for the PArt festival (Prince Albert Art Festival) 18 – 24 September 2014.  “Venus devouring her children” and some other work will be included in the group show: Freakin’ Flammable/Flippen Vlambaar curated by Alex Hamilton.

In the couple of weeks to follow I will post some of my work included in the show, and I hope to attend the festival even if it’s only for one day….If so I will post some installation shots as well.  Hope to see you there!

ps guess who inspired this piece 😉


early influence

Studio news/blog

"Woman in a fur coat" a work by Judith Mason

“Woman in a fur coat” a work by Judith Mason

“All children play.  All children dance the cosmic dance of Shiva, creating and destroying, and all children, if allowed to do so, make meaningful things.  Most people go on to other ways of exercising power over the world, but some – the shy, the schizoid, those born like malformed onions with a skin too few for their particular circumstances – find in the privacy, in the arcane solace of making artworks, a way of controlling their world.  These children learn that to scribble until scribbles become symbols, constitutes a playground over which they preside as gods, in a universe inhabited by adults and incomprehensible rules.  Those of you who can recall being punished by having your artworks confiscated or destroyed, will remember how gross such violations were – out of all proportion to the loss of a badly drawn bunny or a cardboard house.  It rendered us powerless, robbed us of autonomy.  Such vandalism should not be part of the armoury of parents and teachers”

Words by Judith Mason.

Arachne, oil on board, 1996 Work by Judith Mason

Arachne, oil on board, 1996 Work by Judith Mason

I did not study art on school level.  I was enrolled in private art classes though, but the teacher unfortunately did not inspire, so I spend that time walking around in the local art gallery.  That is were I encountered the work of Judith Mason.  The first piece I ever saw was “Catwalk girl”.  Still my favourite, but these two works above I adore as well.  I found solace in her work since my parents and that specific teacher didn’t understand me.  I don’t have any of my childhood drawings/scribbles.  I guess my parents didn’t see the need in keeping them. Maybe they didn’t like them, or maybe it wasn’t pretty enough.  Who knows.  When I saw the work of Judith Mason it felt as if  I understood myself.

drawing by my 6year old son

drawing by my 6year old son

I will not enroll my children in art classes.  We spend our time playing in the garden and I let them draw what they see.  Sometimes we visit art galleries together or look at pictures of art, and I ask them what they think.  The latter is very entertaining and insightful.  So many art teachers wants to teach children and others how paint, draw, sculpt according to them,  instead of just teaching them how to see, feel, and experience.

Anyway, I’m busy wrapping up the loose ends for my solo show later this month….and starting to feel nervous and jittery.  Last night I cleaned out the toolboxes and rearrange the shelves in my studio to calm my nerves.   Maybe these feelings has nothing to do with the show coming up, but maybe I feel this way because its the month of March?!

”  The third figure in our pageant clatters by in a chariot drawn by two horses, Terror and Flight.  It is a threatening figure, brandishing a long spear, lifting a gleaming shield to the heaven, and raising its head on hight, so that the lightnings play about the great helmet.  This is Mars, the god of war…..

Mars was associated in their minds with thunder and lighting, and yet the Romans believed that the woodpecker tapping the trunk of a tree was the answer of this blustering, noisy god to their prayers.  March is very often a blustering month”  (From an encyclopaedia)

So off I go to have some coffee in the garden and trying to find that woodpecker!



Art portfolio- my work

I received this quote in a letter from a dear friend:

 “….Speak to us of Children.

And he said:

Your children are not your children.  They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday……….

I know it well….its from “The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran.

I wasn’t an easy teenager.  My parents didn’t believe in ‘time-out’ – they believed in a good spanking.

The last time I received a hiding was when I was 17.  My dad caught me smoking. After the hiding I ran away, and left the above quote in a letter.  When they found me I got a hiding for running away and for the letter I left.  That quote didn’t fit in their belief as parents.  “Children should be seen and not heard” was what they believed in.

Today I am a parent and I hope to remember these words above which made an impact on me then as they make now.  I also secretly hope that my children will be ‘easier’ teenagers than I was- or maybe I will be an ‘easier’ parent.

embroidery on rubber

embroidery on rubber

Orde: Lepidoptera – Pouoë, Emperor moths

“Dit is interessant dat die soorte wat sleg smaak, normaalweg heelwat langer leef as die gekamoefleerde soorte nadat hulle klaar eiers gelê het.  Die rede is ooglopend.  Die ou wyfies, wat sleg smaak, beskerm die jong wyfies deurdat van die ou wyfies opgeoffer word om voëls te leer om hulle soort te vermy.  Die wyfies wat hulle agtergrond naboots, moet weer na eierlegging gou doodgaan om te voorkom dat vyande aanleer om hulle kamoeflering uit te ken.” (from the book: Ons eie insekte)

It’s hard to unlearn the things one has been taught by your parents.  Sometimes sacrifice is needed.  It is easy to give children your love, but it is so hard not to try and give them your thoughts…..