“nothing to gain and nothing to lose”

Studio news/blog

The play-pretend queen found a story about a ‘flute player”, and she would like to share it with you….


“A new flute was invented in China.  A Japanese master musician discovered the subtle beauties of its tone and brought it back home, where he gave concerts all around the country.  One evening he played with a community of musicians and music lovers who lived in a certain town.  At the end of the concert, his name was called.  He took out the new flute and played one piece.  When he was finished, there was silence in the room for a long moment.  There the voice of the oldest man was heard from the back of the room:  “Like a god!” 

Sketchbook page. Mixed media

The next day, as this master was packing to leave, the musicians approached him and asked how long it would take a skilled player to learn the new flute.  “Years,” he said.  They asked if he would take a pupil, and he agreed.  After he left, they decided among themselves to send a young man, a brilliantly talented flutist, sensitive to beauty, diligent and trustworthy.  They gave him money for the living expenses and for the master’s tuition, and sent him on his way to the capital, where the master lived.

The student arrived and was accepted by his teacher, who assigned him a single, simple tune.  At first he received systematic instruction, but he easily mastered all the technical problems.  Now he arrived for his daily lesson, sat down, and played his tune – and all the master could say was, “Something lacking.” The student exerted himself in every possible way,  he practiced for endless hours, yet day after day, week after week, all the master said was, “something lacking.” He begged the master to change the tune, but the master said no.  The daily playing , the daily “something lacking” continued for months on end.  The student’s hope of success and fear of failure became ever magnified, and he swung from agitation to despondency.

Finally the frustration became too much for him.  One night he packed his bag and slinked out.  He continued to live in the capital city for some time, longer, until his money ran dry.  He began drinking.  Finally, impoverished, he drifted back to his own part of the country.  Ashamed to show his face to his former colleagues, he found a bat far out in the countryside.  He still possessed his flutes, still played, but found no new inspiration in music.  Passing farmers heard him play and send their children to him for beginners’s lessons.  He lived this way for years.

One morning there was a knock at  his door.  It was the oldest past-master from his town, along with the youngest student.  They told him that tonight they were going to have a concert, and they had all decided it would not take place without him.  With some effort they overcame his feelings of fear and shame, and almost in a trance he picked up a flute and went with them. The concert began.  As he waited behind the stage, no one intruded on his inner silence.  Finally, at the end of the concert, his name was called.  He stepped out the stage in his rags.  He looked down at his hands, and realised that he had chosen the new flute.

Now he realized that he had nothing to gain and nothing to lose.  He sat down and played the same tune he had played so many times for his teacher in the past.  When he finished, there was silence for a long moment.  Then the voice of the oldest man was heard speaking softly from the back of the room:  ” Like a god!” 

quoted from a book I received as a gift recently called: “Free Play” by Stephen Nachmanovitch

Sketchbook page. Mixed media

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter-weekend! Take care…xxx

Rabbit! where did you hide those eggs, girl? (detail of a work which I will tell you more about later)

She never promised you a rose garden…

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

She never promised you a rose garden detail

This is one of those works that has gone through many transformations, but finds itself part of the Minutes to Midnight exhibition currently showing at 99 Loop gallery in Cape Town until the 27th of October! I started working on it in 2015. It is quite large…215 x 142 cm.

She never promised you a rose garden detail 2

Its inspired by a couple of things

*Childhood memories of an Afrikaans nursery rhyme we sang during a game we used to play, which goes like this:

“Koljander, Koljander so deur die bos,

my ma en pa kook lekker kos,

die kinders verstik aan n druiwe tros,

die laaste een se kop word af gekap…”

The English version is probably almost like “human-crocqhet”

but here follows a description of the one we used to play”

Koljander, Koljander so deur die bos

Twee spelers hou mekaar se hande in die lug vas terwyl die ander onderdeur moet loop. Die twee bepaal vooraf wie die lemoen en wie die suurlemoen gaan wees. Terwyl die spelers onderdeur die arms loop, sing die twee wat die arms omhoog hou ‘Koljander, Koljander so deur die bos. My ma en pa kook lekker kos, my boetie verstik aan ‘n druiwetros, die laaste een se kop word af gekap! Kiep, Kiep, Kiep Kap! Met die noem van Kap laat hulle dadelik hulle hande sak om die persoon wat op daardie stadium daar is toe te vou. Die gevangene word eenkant toe geneem en gevra waarvan hy hou, lemoene of suurlemoene, waarna hy agter daardie speler wat hy kies moet gaan staan.

Die speler wat gevang word, moet sy keuse tussen die twee maak sonder dat die ander spelers mag weet wat elk van die twee persone voorstel. As al die spelers klaar hulle keuses gemaak het, trek die twee spanne gewoonlik teen mekaar tou, en dit vind soos volg plaas, die twee spelers wat hulle arms omhoog gehou het, vat mekaar aan die voorarms vas terwyl elkeen se spanlede die speler voor hom om die lyf vashou. Die span wat eerste val is die verloorder.

detail

  • Teenage Trauma: I don’t want to talk about it now…

She never promised you a rose garden detail 3

and  * the title is inspired by the lyrics of song: Rose Garden (Lynn Anderson) – which I remember from a time growing up…… and I quote:

I beg your pardon
I never promised you a rose garden
Along with the sunshine
There’s gotta be a little rain some time
When you take you gotta give so live and let live
Or let go oh-whoa-whoa-whoa
I beg your pardon
I never promised you a rose garden

She never promised you a rose garden 215 x 142 cm 2018 (reworked) cotton thread and rubber

So smile for a while and let’s be jolly
Love shouldn’t be so melancholy
Come along and share the good times while we can

*Photographs of my work taken by : Kleinjan Groenewald

Sy is so boos sy kan slange vang….

Art portfolio- my work

Sy is so boos sy kan slange vang approx 170 x 134 cm 2018 Cotton thread and rubber

detail

detail 1

*one of the pieces I decided to ‘rework’ in 2018

*one of the early pieces where i still hand-stitched the rubber background to form a canvas.

*photographs of my works courtesy of Kleinjan Groenewald

*On exhibition at 99 Loop gallery until 27 October 2018

opening night at 99 Loop gallery, Cape Town with visitors and friends..(.installation view.)

Worry dolls

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

The concept of the ‘worry doll’ also known as ‘trouble dolls’, served as inspiration of these works.

Blonde ambition aka red right hand – worry doll 87 x 23 cm fabric, found objects, cotton thread, synthetic hair and rubber 2018

Blonde ambition detail

Blonde ambition detail 1

The worry dolls originated in Guatemala and Mexico, and refers to a Mayan princess named Ixucane.  The princess received a small gift from the sun god which would allow her to solve any problem a human could worry about.

Raison d’ etre – worry doll 44 x 21 x 37 cm 2018 fabric, found objects, cotton thread and rubber

raison d’ etre detail 1

Raison d’ etre detail

In modern times these worry dolls are given to broody and sorrowful children so that they can tell these dolls about their sorrow, fears and worries. Then hide the dolls under their pillows during the night.  The next morning all sorrows are said to have been taken away by the worry/trouble dolls.

Pushing up the daisies – worry doll 68 x 25 x 21 cm fabric, found items, cotton thread and rubber 2018

Pushing up the daisies detail 1

Pushing up the daisies detail

if only it were that easy, right?!

Who cares – worry doll 60 x 47 x fabric, found objects, cotton thread and rubber 2018

Fly by night – worry doll 76 x 37 x 16 cm fabric, found objects, cotton thread and rubber 2018

installation view at 99 Loop gallery

for more info feel free to contact 99 Loop gallery

Jabberwocky

Art portfolio- my work

“And, as in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!”

-Lewis Carroll, 1872

from the poem titled Jabberwocky, which is currently my son Stephan’s favourite poem, especially when his dad reads it to him with a Scotttish accent.

He sees monsters everywhere detail

Initially my eldest son, inspired this work, because he used to see ‘monsters’ everywhere. He is quite tall for his age, thus looks older than he is, and he doesn’t like sleeping.  He is also blessed with a vivid imagination.

I am constantly amazed how two children from the same household can be so different from each other. Where Etienne is sensitive and fearful, his brother Stephan fierce and a handful. I say this in the most loving and respectful way. I love them both in every-way.

He sees monsters everywhere 2016