Cave Canem

 (what lies beneath, what is projected and what appears to our eyes)

‘to cave’ involves inherent surrender and collapse

but a cavern is a place for shelter and storage.

Paintings are cavernous surrogates for the soft body.

 

History is thrown like bones that tell the future.

In the woven marketplace; with its surplus practices and idolatry

the everyday and the mythic lie in the same space

(quilted femme stories)

Beware the dog with dog eared nature

and don’t drink the badwater.


I am located in the margin, I make a definite distinction between that marginality which is imposed by oppressive structures and that marginality one chooses as site of resistance – as location of radical openness and possibility… we are transformed, individually, collectively, as we make radical creative space which affirms and sustains our subjectivity, which gives us a new location from which to articulate our sense of the world
— bell hooks, 1990:153

BOTH FLESH AND NOT (writings on paint and drawings)


Foreigner: a chocked up rage deep down in my throat, a black angel clouding transparency, opaque, unfathomable spur. The image of hatred and of the other, a foreigner is neither the romantic victim of our clannish indolence nor the intruder responsible for all the ills of the polis. Neither the apocalypse on the move nor the instant adversary to be eliminated for the sake of appeasing the group. Strangely, the foreigner lives within us: she is the hidden face of our identity, the space that wrecks our abode, the time in which understanding and affinity founder… The foreigner comes in when the consciousness of my difference arises, and she disappears when we all acknowledge ourselves as foreigners, unnamable to bonds and communities
— Julia Kristeva, 1991:1

Red is menstruation, a STOP sign, is life, sex, love and death; it is a colour that communicates directly that is both synthetic and animal. The first drawings on caves used russet ochre as the primary pigment, because it can be mined from both the earth and the body. Vermillion blooms timeless. The Hindu philosophical vision of the powdered pigment represents lushness and abundance of the regenerative spirit. 

It is hard to capture the puce tincture through the screen, it’s luster blows out through the pixel. It is a colour that is felt and moves, is it not static. Red is symbolic of masculinity and rejuvenation; of both the interior and exterior. It demands an intimate response from the gaze that witnesses it. My work is stained by infrared, the colour of a blouse, and for me, the colour of power. It is the colour of night where “all superfluous connotations disappear” (Dumas, 2007:145).

The womb is red


Sun Dial from Chicago to Jozi

Sun Dial from Chicago to Jozi