When I finished my printmaking course at the Artist Proof Studio in Johannesburg, and wondering what my next move would be, I asked myself, “Where do I start?” Then I realized that nothing was to be started, but well, to be continued.
Feeling empowered by the privilege of having learned, successfully, the printmaking techniques that Artist Proof Studio offers, I decided first to build a body of works, that would successfully document my life; that was the moment when I decided to be a full time artist, and to commit myself to the fulfillment of the project (the construction of he body of works – Fragments). In the beginning I was not sure where to start, this was until I picked up the word “fragments” during my brainstorming. This word came to shape up the entire vision.
Now, the only problem left was finances! I needed to be stable. The money I had from the sales of my prints through the Artist Proof Studio’s gallery wasn’t enough. I then had the idea to travel to the coast; St. France’s Bay and Jeffrey’s Bay, the Eastern Cape tourist mecca for the December holidays, and try to sell some art works – I had relatives living in Humansdorp, 20min from Jeffre’s Bay and St. France’s Bay where I have been before. I saw that it could be possible to sell something.
In my first attempt to be part of the art fair in St. France’s Bay, I met a fellow artist, art teacher and mentor Alecia Chaput, who became my mentor and helper.
Alecia made her studio available for me to produce this body of works.
Now flourishing with encouragement from my fellow artist, teacher and mentor, “Fragments” began her journey. Painting has been my favorite thing since the beginning of my art career, without neglecting the excitement I found in printmaking, but as I said, “Fragments” was to depict instances of my life, my journey, and the best way to do this was to navigate through all the instances and engage almost all the techniques I had learned so far.
My personal life has been marked by endless sacrifices; the most painful was, going to a foreign country, and being separated from my mother and four brothers who look to me as their elder brother. I sometimes felt isolated, even in the comfort of friends or colleges. This aspect you will also find depicted in my works.
I found myself sometimes wearing a mask, in order to shield myself, but I don’t think my character ever changed; I believe my personal journey, is reflected in this body of works.
I have got moments of boldness, faith, courage, doubt, weakness, madness, stupidity, peace, nostalgia, etc. And these moments or aspects flow in the colours, lines, shapes, subject placement, and even in the main subject of the painting or drawing. So, I am happy that I can call each one of these aspects and instances, a “fragment”.
In most of my works there is a strong presence of female figures. For me, the female figure depicts my struggle; the delicacy and beauty of my journey. I also find in the female figure metaphors, to depict my emotions, strength, weakness, wisdom, humor etc.
I enjoy abstraction, which features quite prominently in my work; is this perhaps my mask? I don’t know… the abstraction seems just to happen!
I feel that the “Fragments” is just beginning. There is a lot left. Of course, it’s a journey.