So! Last night we had the opening of the Pulp Fiction exhibition at the artSPACE durban Gallery, conceived by me, and birthed and curated by the owner (of the gallery) Karen Bradtke and I.

Below: the artSPACE durban GalleryIMG-20151012-04996

The participating artists were: swany, Corne Eksteen, Andrew Verster, Angie Arbothnot, Shauna Southam, Jane Alexander, Mandy Kok, Sam Boock, Michael Croeser, Karen Bradtke, Marianne Meijer, Sandra Hogg, Mikhail Peppas, and Sanabelle Ebrahim.

















I am here to tell you, it was a huuuge amount of work, and so, believe me when I tell you that the gallery earns its commission on works sold. As an artist I would bitch about the 38% of my sales being taken by the gallery, but in this exhibition I had an opportunity to experience both sides of the coin. So artists, trust me, the galleries deserve and earn their commission!

So yeah! I am absolutely exhausted! Quite literally pulped! In addition to all the work I had to do to put the exhibition together I also had to create a piece for the exhibition. True to my nature I did not choose the easy route but went way out of my comfort zone and decided to work with inks. Conceptually it suited the theme of the exhibition and I always try to grow as an artist so something new it was! I experimented with lino prints and drawing and painting with ink. To be honest I was not certain about how successful my works were but I did receive some positive feedback from the artists at the opening so that’s good.

jailbird pulp fiction
















Above: Jailbird (lino-prints)

jailbait pulp fiction
















Above: Jailbait (lino-print and ink-work)

This has been my 6th exhibition this year so it has been a really busy and I would say productive year for me. Sadly sales have been terrible. Durban, it seems just does not get me. Jenny Stretton, curator at the Durban Art Gallery (our metro gallery), has advised I get my work into more contemporary galleries in South Africa’s two main cities, Cape Town and Johannesburg. I’m thinking though that if I am going to have to look further afield for success and recognition it might as well be out there in the big wide world. So that is what I am starting to do! Who knows, my next big step out of my comfort zone might be Dubai or London or Los Angeles!

I will, of course, keep you, as always, informed, dear reader.

Simple Man

I believe that at heart I am a simple man. I don’t aspire to rule the world or to attain massive wealth or fame or notoriety. In saying that, however, I would really love to become an artist of note and to be able to share my love of art with others. But mostly I would prefer to be left alone. Ironically, despite this, I have often had leadership thrust upon me without my seeking it: school prefect, rugby captain, club captain, corporal. I use these as examples, not to boast, positions I have held but certainly never sought. Not that I won’t step forward and take charge and responsibility of a situation if I see it is necessary, I often do. But the affairs of humanity and its nature often sadden and sicken me, and I find the less I have to do with people the better.

Below: me now in 2015 – sweaty selfie after a Sunday run


OK, so what has this simple man been up to since last I wrote?

  • I have been re-appointed visual arts and multimedia mentor lecturer for my region which is awesome because I really enjoy working with the students. It also prevents me from isolating myself which is bad for my own artmaking.
  • I have been officially accepted into the masters programme as a registered postgraduate student.
  • I am working on artworks for 3 exhibitions at the moment (more about these soon).

A huge deal was the fact that this past Saturday (Valentine’s Day) I was invited to give a speech at the regional Independent Education Board’s Visual Arts Conference. I spoke about Performance Art to about 40 private school teachers at a school called St Mary’s. Man, what a school! Money is a hell of a thing! To view the benefits of privilege, manifested in the real world, not in shiny cars and baubles but in real old-money-style is really something. How can one do anything but succeed in an environment like that: tradition, wealth, privilege and expectation? As I said what a fantastic school… if you can afford it. Anyway it was a really good experience for me as well as an opportunity to further establish my name out there, in this case as academic.




An interesting sidebar is that I am “juicing” at the moment. NO, not steroids, but drinking vegetable juices. I was in the States in 2012 for a few months (yes, during the whole sad LA Woman affair) and the crowd I hung with in LA and Florida were all juicers. Especially kale, which is very difficult to find here or is it just me? Anyway when I got back I tried to carry on with it but there were no companies that produce the types of juices I had in the States and the juice machines I tried to use to make my own blew. Finally I have come across Raw Juice Co! They make an awesome product and this week I am trying out their 3-day detox programme. Man, I really was not expecting the cleanse to kick my ass because as a vegetarian I eat really healthily. Yet yesterday, there was my ass, and it was getting itself kicked! The juices carved me out like a canoe! I was really tired by the time I got back from work. Today, however, I feel a little “trippy”, a not all-together” unpleasant feeling.

So that is my news and no, no romance for Valentine’s!
















To end off I am going to share one of my swany-awesomeness items: a tune by a band called Lynyrd Skynyrd. The song quite aptly is called Simple Man.














Being the scenic route guy that I am, I will share, as I generally do, a little of the band’s compelling story. They popularized  the Southern hard-rock genre during the 1970s, originally forming in 1966. The group settled on the name Leonard Skinnerd, which is a mocking tribute to a physical-education teacher at Robert E. Lee High School, Leonard Skinner. Skinner was notorious for strictly enforcing the school’s policy against boys having long hair. Despite their high school acrimony, the band developed a friendlier relationship with Skinner in later years, and even invited him to introduce them at a concert. Skinner also allowed the band to use a photo of his “Leonard Skinner Realty” sign for the inside of their third album. Isn’t that a cool origin story?

But as life is want to do along with the happy came a lot of sad!


With their distinctive triple-lead guitar attack the band rose to worldwide recognition on the basis of its driving live performances and signature  American anthems such as Sweet Home Alabama and Free Bird. It was at the peak of their success when three members died in an airplane crash in 1977. Following a performance at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium in Greenville, South Carolina, on October 20, 1977 the band boarded a plane to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where they were scheduled to appear at LSU the following night. Due to a faulty engine, the airplane ran low on fuel and the pilots were diverted to the McComb-Pike County Airport. After running out of fuel they attempted an emergency landing before crashing in a heavily forested area five miles northeast of Gillsburg, Mississippi. Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, the assistant road manager and the pilots were killed on impact; the other band members (Collins, Rossington, Wilkeson, Powell, Pyle, and Hawkins), tour manager Ron Eckerman, and the road crew suffered serious injuries.

The surviving band members re-formed in 1988 for a reunion tour with lead vocalist Johnny Van Zant, the younger brother of lead singer and founder, Ronnie Van Zant (that’s pretty cool too). The re-formed band continues to tour and record today. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the group No. 95 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. A really cool, honest, hard-working rock band, old school style!



Free Bird is  a pretty cool song, but for me this is a classic which is why I am sharing it with you. A lesson on how to live your life.


Simple Man

Mama told me when I was young

Come sit beside me, my only son

And listen closely to what I say.

And if you do this

It will help you some sunny day.

Take your time… Don’t live too fast,

Troubles will come and they will pass.

Go find a woman and you’ll find love,

And don’t forget son,

There is someone up above.



And be a simple kind of man.

Be something you love and understand.

Baby, be a simple kind of man.

Oh won’t you do this for me son,

If you can?


Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold

All that you need is in your soul,

And you can do this if you try.

All that I want for you my son,

Is to be satisfied.



And be a simple kind of man.

Be something you love and understand.

Baby, be a simple kind of man.

Oh won’t you do this for me son,

If you can?


Boy, don’t you worry.

You’ll find yourself.

Follow your heart,

And nothing else.

You can do this,

If you try.

All that I want for you my son,

Is to be satisfied.



And be a simple kind of man.

Be something you love and understand.

Baby, be a simple kind of man.

Oh won’t you do this for me son,

If you can?


Baby, be a simple, be a simple man

Oh, be something you love and understand

Baby, be a simple kind of man


Simple Man lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group


RIP Champers


Two years on and I still miss my furry little buddy terribly.  My Champers passed away on 12/12/2012 and so today I honour his memory, although in truth there is not a day that goes by that I do not think of him. I am reminded of the words of Pi Patel in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi:

I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.


For me this is what tears me up; that I did not get the opportunity to say goodbye to my friend. Wrapped up in the misery caused by LA Woman’s duplicitous cruelty and my disastrous emigration to the United States (see previous 2012 posts), I was not there for his passing. I am hopeful that I will see Champers again though when it is my time to pass over. I have missed him.

Again the words of Pi Patel:

Animals have souls… I have seen it in their eyes.


So rest in peace, little buddy. You and I will meet again as souls in the starry afterlife.


Images from Ang Lee’s fantastic film translation of the novel.