on the beaches of Arniston
Rope, twine, fishing line, sinkers, wooden scraps, cigarette butts-mostly filters, masses of butts, shoes, soles, ice trays or parts thereof, divers gloves, rubber cords, floats, meat trays, glass bottles and bottle tops of all descriptions, plastic everythings from styrafoam cups to netting to milk bottles and eye drop bottles, knives and forks…
pastels on paper 2017/2018
on the beaches of Woodbridge Island
Another haul including condoms, ropes, a hair extension, battered plastic bottles, rope, wood, shoes ( always shoes) a glove
at de Mond
Adding colour to another depressing but strangely satisfyingly shaped haul of washed-up trash. Why I like these battered shapes…something lodging in the primitive brain, I suspect. Perhaps a kind of gestalt. I move closer and closer to the two greats in my pantheon: Morandi and Guston. I have come to them from the side like a crab. A frontal appropriation has always failed by sending me into a withering and drying up. How can I possibly compare the muddy puddle on my paper before me with their masterpieces? Now in the beach trash on which I concentrate they are two specks, blurs in either corner of my eye, right and left. I could describe them as ghostly attendants but best to ignore them and let the wordless drawing process itself usher me in. I read somewhere this weekend that the self can only be found in those moments when you pay attention to this rather than that i.e. in the choice one makes among the myriad sensations flooding the brain at any single moment. I think drawing/ painting/ writing helps to solidify self because one is in a trance of choosing and choosing. That is why it feels so good ( most of the time).
an exhibition of 46 dark watercolours
Noosphere: The third phase of evolutionary development of the Earth following the geosphere (inanimate matter) and biosphere (biological life). Noosphere refers to human consciousness and thought.
Each work is a single image of a night scene painted in watercolour and ink on cloth.
The central painted area of each work is approximately 25cm by 25cm while the overall size of the works vary slightly. A cloth label on which the title is typed is hand sewn below the image. The titles incorporate unusual words which tantalise, amuse and encourage engagement rather than explain the works.
The paintings are sewn onto black painted wooden dowels from which they hang. If purchasers desire to frame them at their own cost, box frames are suggested.
Each painting is for sale for R2,000.00
Click on the image to enlarge.
1. Needless to Say, Chiaroscuro. A Paralipsis
2. An Attack of Ataraxia
3. Stone Ballicatter
4. Desipient Night
5. Where are our Antiscians?
Antiscians: people who live on the same meridian but on the opposite side of the equator
e.g. our antiscians would be somewhere in Libya or the Mediterranean
6. Ubiety Distilled
7. A Handsel for the New Year
9. Victory over Velleity SOLD
10. Schlimmbesserung Averted?
11. Perlustrating the Turf
12. What the Poshlost Spurn
13. Saudade under A Full Moon SOLD
Saudade: ‘that mysterious melancholy which sighs at the back of every joy’ Roy Campbell (Portuguese)
14. Basking in the Kumatage
15. A Still Life on the Verge of Lalochezia SOLD
16. Conceivably Pluviose
17. Amnesia Reified
18. Caliginous Accumulation
19. Delitescent Healing
20. Coffee Table Apophenia
21. Really? Tu Quoque!
22. A Lychnobite of Note. A Fan
23. A Cynosure by Name
24. No Need for Anacampserote SOLD
25. The Connection is Presque Vu
26. Somnifugous Clutter SOLD
27. Chavish Encased in Glass and Silenced
Chavish: a chattering or prattling noise of many persons speaking together; a noise made by a flock of birds
28. Serendipity or Zemblanity? Who Can Tell?
29. Hardly a Case of Plutomania
30. Murky Maieutics
Mauieutic: dialectic method practiced by Socrates by interrogation and insisting on logical reasoning
( from Greek word for midwifery)
31. Kitchen Antinomy
Antinomy: contradiction between two statements, both obtained by correct reasoning; conflict, contrast
32. Two More Arrivistes on Our Street SOLD
33. A Trilemma of Note: Travel, Property or Tea?
34. Zaftig, with Quiet Authority, He Takes in All SOLD
35. Flight to the View of the Tramontanes
36. Concupiscible Berth for a Tiny Voyager
37. Crinum Cryptoscopophilia SOLD
38. The Elozable Viola French SOLD
39. Holy Crap! My Ambassadors are Bleezed!
40. The Thalweg is a Slippery Slope
Thalweg: a line on a map connecting the lowest points of a valley; the middle of a waterway
that serves as a boundary line between states
42. With Sprezzatura
43. Finding Dolorifuge
44. Logodaedalus in our Midst SOLD
45. Glandaceous Light SOLD
46. A Quaquaversal World SOLD
The unusual words that appear in these titles come from the book,
‘From Afterwit to Zemblanity, 100 endangered words brought to life’
by Simon Hertnon ( New Holland Press)
an exhibition of rag books
Each rag book is made up of 3 or more pages painted in watercolour and ink, glimpses into my home world. The works include a handcrafted wooden hanger. The pages are turned with cloth tabs and viewers can choose which page they wish to display.
Click on the image to enlarge.
1. Above and below R2,000.00 SOLD
2. Dreaming stuff R2,000.00
3. Boxing R2,000.00
4. Dresser R2,000.00
5. Hanging R2,000.00
6. Peter and the animals R2,000.00 SOLD
7. Sally’s lemons R2,000.00
8. At the station R2,400.00 SOLD
9. Donald’s thoughts R2,400.00 SOLD
10. For you, Philip, for you R2,000.00
11. Glass ceiling R2,000.00 SOLD
12. Mantelpiece R2,000.00 SOLD
13. OK R2,000.00
14. Pluto’s books R2,000.00 SOLD
15. Side by side R2,400.00
16. The lion and the 3 of us R2,400.00
17. Trains R2,800.00 SOLD
18. Wedding plans R2,000.00
19. Vessels R2,400.00 SOLD
20. Under the watchful gaze of Mister Edward Lear SOLD
an exhibition of rag books
Each rag book is made up of 3 or more pages painted in watercolour and ink, reflecting cherished objects from my home in the wider world. The works include a handcrafted wooden hanger. The pages are turned with cloth tabs and viewers can choose which page they wish to display.
Click on the image to enlarge.
1. At Fargo’s, Salt River R2,400.00
2. Babar goes to Rosmead Primary School R2,800.00
3. In the streets of the American presidents R2,400.00 SOLD
4. Outing in the Cuore R2,400.00 SOLD
5. Outing in the half-loaf R2,000.00
6. Sailboat, Endlovini, Khayelitsha R3,600.00 SOLD
7. Visiting Captain’s cafe, Belvedere Road R3,600.00
8. West Coast sortie R3,600.00 SOLD
Domestic Associations & Domestic Excursions
For Ulrich who would have been here like a shot and whom I am going to miss forever.
Everything’s a story. My life, a myriad of stories trailing behind me: childhood, MA in Fine Art, my husband and two sons, books, books, books, a discovered penchant to write, a career in children’s books with a number of publications clattering along the cobbles over my shoulder. Each one tied to a string that makes for the bundle I hold in my fist. Colourful strings.
There are 28 stories on exhibition. A couple even have something you could describe as a plot, others are merely images that by being sewn together provide the possibilities of plot.
This is the story of how these rag books were made:
It starts like so many of my stories, rummaging. This time at a church fete. Our Lady Help of Christians. I am holding in my hand creamy cloth, scrunchy, yet soft. It has a light shine. It have no idea why I want it or what I will do with it but the feel of it, like a tiny electric charge, transmits some unknown potential. I have to have it – this is despite many pieces of unused cloth jamming up the cupboards in our small house.
At home, I snip off a square and look at it blankly. At last it says “Draw me’ and I run a black fineliner over it. The line skates off, pirouettes and stops. More and more lines, loops, slashes, scribbles. The cloth draws beautifully.
What about paint? I bring out an old watercolour box that I’ve had since my student days. A glass of water, a brush and it’s pops and blobs and streaks and wobbles. One transparent pale wash overlaps the next. The colour shapes remain discreet, the delicate edges crisp and clear and fine. There is air between them. Thank you, Our Lady.
So let’s start…Except I need some shape, I need a story. A friend is sewing a rag book for babies. We should have rag books for adults, I say, idly chattering, not thinking it through. I begin elaborating. What about cloth book newspapers? Imagine passengers getting onto the plane with their cloth newspapers draped in their hands. On their laps as blankets. Turned pages on their neighbour’s lap? The Watercolour Cloth Press? Yes, why not?
But I’m no newspaper head. What subject matter should I paint? Another friend, an artist, looking around my kitchen. Why don’t you paint all this? she suggests, and I do. I start right where I am because there is a welter of possibilities lying around in heaps at arm’s reach. The endless source matches the stream of paintings I am itching to paint. Then, the streaking, the blobbing, the scribbling in my Zozo hut. Endless hours of it. One hundred and ten pages of that have made it here.
So that is why it’s domestic associations.
I am not only invested in my little cocoon of home. Eventually, the wider world calls. I take my silly domestic ‘objets’ out, I put them in the car, on the dashboard which functions as a mantelpiece of sorts, out, out, with me to the local café, to the reading club I run at Rosmead Central Primary School, with me to shop at Fargo’s in Salt River, with me to Endlovini in Khayelitsha. These are the domestic excursions.
And the other elements, the stamps, the hangers, the large ‘contents pages’, the cloth tags, all the bits and pieces grow from my life – what I have found, what is around, what friends have suggested, what my husband can and will do.
They say that every person, every author, every artist has really only one story in them which they tackle again and again from every direction. In retrospect, I can see how these works fit into a life-time’s interest in experimental formats and materials bridging the divide between genres and age-groups. The child in me and all the children I have written and illustrated for. The glorious riches of a private sensual life and the social urge, a desire to seed it – or perhaps more accurately, awaken it – in others. The freedom of the fine artist and the rigour of the illustrator. Somewhere in this territory, I hover.
So thank you to Our Lady Help of Christians, who helped me despite my not being a Christian, to Sue, to Lynne, to Peter, to Robert and to Jill who buys me paint when she goes on her travels and Pippa Firmin who schlepped me more cloth from the UK when Our Lady’s basket was empty.
The last story I will tell is not a story. It’s a poem of only a few words, and not a very good poem at that. If people get only this, I’ll have done my job.
The joy that is making, the joy that is painting.
REVIEW OF EXHIBITION IN CAPE TIMES 8 FEB 2017