The stone is limestone from the Eastern Cape similar to stone that the cathedral in Grahamstown is built from. However, this stone has the texture of boiled mud that has been fossilised. This texture has been engineered by Piddocks. They are stone boring bivalves that literally drill holes into the stone. This piece is, or was, infested, like a lot of borer beetles in a untreated piece of pine.
It gives this work and interesting texture but it is not easy to work as between the holes are fragile bits can easily break off and the holes are not always where you wish them to be. All the same, I have enjoyed the challenge, the medium, and physicality of the work and I am pleased with the outcome.
I was reminded by the “one eyed monster” that I made a number of flying figures as he, without my permission, was using one of my images to market his gallery (only the Pretoria ART Museum, where the work resides, has permission to use this image). Angry at first, I realised that he inadvertently was marketing me and something else, something beautiful, came out of his disregard for normal decent behaviour. I was prompted to make this image
The flying figures, be they an Angel or an Icarus, are part of my history and my oeuvre. It was ushered in by an exhibition of Michael Ayrton’s work at Rhodes University when I was a student there. I relate to that story because my biological father was a pilot for the RAF and was killed in a flying accident when I was just knee high to a grasshopper.
Ayrton saw the Icarus story as a poetic act of defiance. A demonstration against the gods. I like that! Life is difficult. There never was an easy route through life but in the past several years more stones have been rolled into the track. I am thinking of the banking crises which became the great recession which was followed by Zuma’s “nine lost years” and now, Covid 19.
Yet, through it all; father’s (x 2) that die and leave the family poor, the gallery that steals and breaks my work, the poor economic conditions that make selling work difficult, and the plague that harries us, I have been lucky.
It is as if there has been a guardian Angel watching over me.
I claim to be a struggling veteran but it has nothing to do with war or politics. It is about survival as an artist. The “nine wasted years”, state capture, corruption and resultant economic climate have made us all poorer. Bureaucracy (for my permits) and ill health has played their part and the hackers and thieves are not making it any easier for me. My website has been hacked twice! Abandoned for some time it has now been resurrected for the third time. To boot, I am well, my permits are in order and we have a new president. Aleuta Continua!