“What is essential….”

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog
What is essential is invisible to the eye(s) 2015 thread, rubber, batting and wood

What is essential is invisible to the eye(s) 2015 thread, rubber, batting and wood

The title of this work was inspired by a quote from the book: The little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery).

This is currently part of another group exhibition- also at the KKNK (Klein Karoo National Arts Festival) in Oudtshoorn.  It’s called: “Kunstenaar as Outeur/Artist as Author) curated by Corlie de Kock.  Only running until the 11th of April 2015.

What is this exhibition about? The curator wrote the following: (…apologies- it is only in Afrikaans 😉

Die kunstenaar as outeur: ‘n Essensialistiese beskouing van kontemporêre Suid-Afrikaanse kuns
Die uitstalling fokus op die verpersoonliking van kuns en die essensiële eienskappe van die skeppende kunstenaar wat
in kunswerke uitgebeeld word. Kunstenaars het deur alle eeue heen selfportrette geskep omdat hulle in die visuele
kuns ‘n manier gevind het om die self te definiëer. Dit het neergekom op sowel ‘n soeke na as ‘n uitdrukking van
identiteit. Vir hierdie uitstalling word kunswerke gekies na aanleiding van die aard van die essensies wat die kunstenaar
in die kunswerk ondersoek: geslag, identiteit, ‘n bepaalde gesture, voorwerpe van persoonlike betekenis, die self as
performance.

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Freakin Flammable/Flippen Vlambaar @ PArt 2014

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

Tomorrow is the last day of this year’s Prince Albert Art Festival.  As you all know by now: I am participating in the awesome group show: Flippen Vlambaar/ Freakin’ Flammable curated by Alex Hamilton.

As promised here are some photos:

Installation view with works by myself, Elizabeth Balcomb and Christiaan Diedericks. (photo courtesy of Alex Hamilton)

Installation view with works by myself, Elizabeth Balcomb and Christiaan Diedericks. (photo courtesy of Alex Hamilton)

My husband and I decided to drive through to Prince Albert for the weekend and arrived in Prince Albert late Friday afternoon.  I decided to dress up as some sort of Princess.  On my hand was written: “Have you seen my Prince Albert?”

Here I am with FalkoOne also known as FalkoStarr the talented street/graffiti artist in front of his work:

with FalcoOne in front of his work

with FalcoOne in front of his work

On Saturday I wore my custom made/ Maleficent inspired headdress and rubber chain around my neck:

photo credit:  Alex Hamilton

photo credit: Alex Hamilton

Staring contest? from one ‘queen’ to another….

In front of the work by Conrad Botes: Zombie Babylon 10. (photo: Alex Hamilton)

In front of the work by Conrad Botes: Zombie Babylon 10. (photo: Alex Hamilton)

Scapegoats?…………

With another work by Conrad Botes

With another work by Conrad Botes photo: Alex Hamilton

guilty as charged?………….

With work by Brett Murray

With work by Brett Murray photo Alex Hamilton

During the day we walked around town. I was chained to my husband.  Later the cops pulled over when they saw us in the main road and asked if everything was okay? Someone in town phoned them and said there are a man walking with a woman on a chain and wanted them to check if all was well.  Just before that some locals tried to perform some sort of ‘exorcism’ on us.  Never a dull moment in a small Karoo Town.

With my husband

With my husband photo Alex Hamilton

I found it appropriate to be chained to my husband for the day, since it was our 12th wedding anniversary as well.  Chained because he tamed me, and by tamed I mean like the way Antoine de Saint-Exupery explains it in his book: The Little Prince.

That evening we had the privilege to see a show: ‘Agter Glas” by Elzabe Zietsman.  I am at a loss for words.  If you ever have the chance to see her in action – do it!

With Elzabe Zietsman and Hendrik Carsten

With Elzabe Zietsman and Hendrik Carsten

Besides all the excitement and fun in the Karoo, I also experienced some sad moments like this one:

with some local children in the Karoo

with some local children in the Karoo

We went for an Instawalk (learning about Instagram) and I met some local children in the North-End suburb.  At first they were terrified of me, but after I convinced them that I wont hurt them, we started talking.  I asked them if they enjoy going to school.  They said no, because the bigger children hurt them and take their money.  This type of thing makes one feel helpless and sad.  This little town also has a huge problem with “fetal alcohol syndrome” which is upsetting.

With all the ups and downs experienced, I still don’t know how to say this without sounding way too sentimental:  it was truly a weekend to remember!

My artist statement for this exhibition:

With these works I attempt to work through my own burning issues I have about motherhood.  With the work:  “Burn baby burn- No recipe I wonder if I should let my children experiment etc.  Even if it means that they might get burned by their experiences.  When should I interfere, when should I protect?  There is to my mind no recipe for raising children.

“Venus devouring her children” was obviously inspired by Goya’s Saturn devouring his children.  In Afrikaans we have a saying:  “Ek gaan hom sommer opvreet – meaning something like I want to devour him with love.  I somethimes wonder if smothering ones children can have the same effect as devouring them?

With “Sacrifice” I wonder how much of yourself should you give when becoming a mother.

Wile working on “Tamed” I thought a lot about the book:  The little prince”:

“Come and play with me, ” suggested the little prince.  “I am so terribly sad….” 

“I cannot play with you’ said the fox.  “I am not tame”.

“What does tame mean?”

“It is something that is too often forgotten”, said the fox.  “It means to establish ties…”

but before I quote the whole chapter where tamed are being written about- I will end off with this:

“The little prince went off to look at the roses again.  “None of you is at all like my rose.  As yet you are nothing,” He said to them. “Nobody has tamed you and you have tamed no one.  You are like my fox when I first encountered him.  He was just a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes.  But I made him my friend and now he is unique in the world….”

 

 

Tamed

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog
Detail of work: "Tamed" Embroidery on rubber, 2014 (photo courtesy of the curator Alex Hamilton)

Detail of work: “Tamed” Embroidery on rubber, 2014 (photo courtesy of the curator Alex Hamilton)

While working on ‘Tamed” I thought a lot about the book: The little prince”:  “Come and play with me,’ suggested the little prince.  ‘I am so terribly sad…”  “I cannot play with you’ said the fox.  “I am not tame.”

‘What does tame mean?”

“It is something that is too often forgotten, “said the fox. “It means to establish ties…”

But before I quote the whole chapter where tamed are being written about – I will end of with this:

“The little prince went off to look at the roses again.  “None of you is at all like my rose.  As yet you are nothing,” he said to them.  ‘Nobody has tamed you and you have tamed no one.  You are like my fox when I first encountered him.  He was just a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes.  But I made him my friend and now he is unique in the world….”

This work among others will be exhibited at the Prince Albert Art Festival (PArt) in September 2014.  It will be part of the group show: Flippen Vlambaar/Freakin’ Flammable curated by Alex Hamilton.  This show will include work of a variety of amazing artists….will tell you more closer to the time.  I’m looking forward to be in such good company.

Untamed

Art portfolio- my work

“”….But I haven’t got much time.  I have friends to discover and a lot of things to understand’.

“One can only understand the thing one tames’ said the fox.  ‘ Men have no more time to understand anything.  They buy ready-made things in the shops.  But since there are no shops where you can buy friends, men no longer have any friends.  If you want a friend, tame me!”

From: “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Untamed

 

“Grown-ups are very strange”

Art portfolio- my work

I am reading “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Again!

I try to read this book at least once a year, maybe twice or even more depending on how much I need it.  I know it almost by heart, but every time I get something else from it.  The one thing I am always struck with is:

“It is only with ones heart that one can see clearly.  What is essential is invisible to the eye”

I get so tangled up in everyday life that I somehow forget this.  That is why I keep reminding myself by reading this book over and over again.

I wonder what would have happened if the little prince landed up in Johannesburg instead of the Sahara desert?

Who would he meet? Street children sniffing glue?  What would he think if he landed on one of our cities landfills?  I am always fascinated by the planets he visits.  It makes me think a lot about our planet earth and the state she is in.  It makes me think about the type of planet I would like to visit.  Definitely a planet inhabited by children.

A playground can be a planet.

A planet can be a playground.

A friend recently send me a link to some interesting playgrounds…………………

http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2008/05/nightmare-playgrounds-part-2.html

Her facebook conversations made me think about the notion of playgrounds vs. graveyards.  After a while I started seeing the link with what I am currently doing at the KKNK with the Lobotoy-me project: “onthoorn my nie”.  I will tell you more at some other stage.

Back to children and playing.

I paged through the Art Times a while back and saw a ‘notice’ of an exhibition by Roger Ballen. (He is currently my favourite photographer- find below 3 of my favourite images):

This show called “playpen’ is curated by Christina Naurattel.  I really would have loved to go and see it- only if it was a bit closer to home.

“The playpen will relate to the concept of heterotopia as a physical representation of an’ in-between’ or so called ‘other’ space.  The playpen as heterotopias is presented as confined space of deterioration and neglect that deconstructs the utopian ideal of a traditional playpen as symbolic safe space of security and peace of mind.”

interesting.

 “only children knows what they are looking for”, said the little prince.  “They dote on a rag doll and it becomes very important to them, and if it is taken away from them they cry…”“They are lucky” said the signalman.

P86 the little prince-

My mother in law used to be a pre-primary teacher and she says that children don’t know how to play when they are little unless parents show them.  Is that why so many children don’t play anymore, because grown-ups have forgotten how to play?

When was the last time you played?

I leave you with this quote from “The Little Prince”:

“He needs cheering up.  If all these reasons are not enough, I will dedicate this book (read blog) to the little boy (or girl) from who this grown-up grew.  All grown-ups were children once- although few of them remember it”