Been busy, so busy, so me no write for long, so long!
Been busy with my master’s dissertation, been busy with my lecturing responsibilities and been busy trying to keep the company where I work afloat in a really awful economic climate! So yes, been busy! In addition, and this is pretty cool, I was commissioned by one of the biggest universities in South Africa to make some drawings for their text books. Yes, can you believe it?!! So so so busy!
But! I have really been working the hardest on my dissertation, no lies! This was one of my new year’s resolutions, the other was to make a drawing a day, and I am proud to say I have stuck to it!
What I wanted to share with you though is a little project I undertook as a break from all of the above. Those who know me know that I am a strong supporter of women’s rights.
It will therefore not surprise you to hear that I submitted a couple of works into an exhibition involved in raising funds for GRIP. GRIP provides confidential, comprehensive trauma counselling, practical assistance and support to help rape, sexual assault and domestic violence survivors obtain the necessary health service, help them to recover physically, emotionally and mentally and to assist in prosecuting offenders.
The Chicken Challenge is an annual fundraising initiative in aid of the Greater Rape Intervention Project (“GRIP”), based in Mpumalanga. It encompasses skills development and job creation, recycling, community involvement and creates social awareness. Chicken canvasses are created from recycled materials, such as egg boxes and tins, by craftsmen and women and these Chicken Starter packs are then sold on to artists for a nominal fee. The completed artworks are displayed at the annual Chicken Challenge exhibition, which takes place at the White River Gallery. The 2016 exhibition will take place from 16 June to 11 July.
As I wanted to speak about the terrible thing that rape is I chose not to beautify or decorate my canvas. I know a lot of my fellow artists will choose to do that but I chose to make a statement. As long as this society we live in continues to commodify women, treating them like something to possess, to own, to be won…to be taken and discarded, we will bear witness to the abuse of our mothers, our sisters, our wives and our daughters. I called my works, The Must Haves:
The Must Have: Commodity in Rich Ochre
The Must Have: Commodity in Lush Emerald
Check it out: http://www.chickenchallenge.co.za/
So the other new year’s resolution: I am proud to say that I completed my 152nd drawing today! I strongly recommend all artists take up this exercise. There are amazing benefits to it. I spend no longer than 30 minutes on a drawing and this forces me to not be precious about it. I get on with it, taking the information I see and translating it immediately into mark making. Honestly, it has become a kinda of mediation/zen exercise now much like my running is. Purely muscle memory. As I said, I highly recommend it!