It is important for me to maintain authenticity in my art, and to define my purpose and identity as an artist. Fundamental to my creative experience is curiosity, imagination and sense of play.

 

From the suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa, I recall playing unsupervised in our garden located on the shores of Table Mountain, amongst two and a half acres of Chestnut trees, garden groves, Goose Berries, Loquats and Birds of Paradise. With my brother as constant companion, my world was full of unstructured play. Our family was conventionally middle class.  We had no television in our household as it didn’t exist in South Africa at that time, so we entertained ourselves by constructing elaborate tales which we enacted with enthusiasm. We ate the blooms from the garden and buried ourselves in leaves during the autumn, constructing make-believe worlds from the foliage.  Although an idyllic childhood, the ever presence of apartheid system loomed in the background. I intuited very early in my life the disparity between race, class and culture. This reality had a strong impact on who I am today. Even in the midst of sheltered youthful play, I could feel the world around me full of angst and sorrow.

In the past 6 years, I have focused on working with discarded cardboard. Being readily available and at no cost to me, it leaves room for experimentation with multiple outcomes. I’m interested in making discoveries rather than following a plan. Sometimes I add gouache, graphite and chalks. Inspired by the African crafts and textiles pervasive on the continent, I use Raffia to bind surfaces and in some cases, I weave into the cardboard carcass. The fiber adds color, texture and strength to the structure.

 

I tend to feel my way through the process by building up and breaking down materials as a regenerative approach. The resulting physical dissolution has a makeshift quality and keeps my work in various states of becoming.  Here I will find potential, a direction, and spatial relationships to be strengthened.  This is the start of a visual conversation between myself, the materials, and the chaotic sum of parts.  

Signs of Compromise, 2016   72” h x 31” D x 34” w variable, Cardboard and mixed media

Detail: Signs of Compromise, 2016