I have not painted since those early restless years when I rebelled against social norms and lived remotely. There were times when I would make a painting or a painted life size figure just to destroy it (and put to rest something which had been eating at me). Back then I loved painting: My works were passionate and expressionistic. I approached my work ritualistically and believed in its deeper purpose. I learned to paint by moonlight because the choice of colour is overridden by its tone. It was during this highly experimental phase that I started painting on textiles applied to board, a practice I have pursued to date with astounding results.
Finally now I am getting back into my own work, developing ideas in painting and sculpture and looking to really hone my skills in areas of focus. I look at the works of masters which speak to me. I look around in my daily life and respond to certain things: Why do I have an urge to paint that ? I don’t need to answer this question; I prefer to trust my instinct and just go with the urge.
I started where I left off those many years ago; drawn to the ritual, drawn to layering: I start with African wax print on board - bright patterned colour - and then work with pigments sourced in South Africa from the earth. I seldom ‘paint’. I PUT the mark down….. crass and messy. I am aware that we humans can be so boorishly insensitive when we make our marks upon our planet and in our living. I want my work to be approached from a distance, in which the whole is seen to be exquisite, and then the closer one gets, the more brutal and neglectful the detail is seen to be. All landscape has such history.
I want my work to be undoubtedly African.