05 March 2008

The Inspiration

So inevitably, this change that came over me worked its way into my work.

My medium of self expression changed from sculpture to illustration and photography (you can check out some of this on my other blog, Poorboy Illustration, at, or follow my link on the left).

This change was obviously greatly influenced by my change of studies to Arts Direction and Graphic Design, but the core of the shift lies slightly deeper. This graphic medium just seemed more suited to Cape Town; more in tune with the ebb and flow of popular culture that wasn’t nearly as prevalent in Grahamstown.

Also, clay costs too much.

My predominant theme in my earlier works dealt with relationships between people and the unspoken narratives that both connects and isolates us. After my move, this shifted towards a more predominant focus on our relationships with our environments. This is what eventually led me to what you are looking at now.

I tried to think of a way that I could trace my life over the last year and a bit. The simple, most obvious suggestion occurred to me in the form the photograph, but was rejected for the same reason – too simple; too obvious. Also, it suffers from the same, immediate process of dissemination that I was discussing earlier. When you look at a photograph, you aren’t really seeing what happened. You’re seeing a bubble of time, yanked out of context, always just out of your grasp and constantly slipping further and further away. Simply by looking at a photograph, you’re forced to admit that those few moments of exposure are forever lost to you and the closer you examine it, the further away it is ironically pushed.

So any sort of direct representation was out of the question.

Then I got to thinking about all that I’ve written so far and about those creases that I’ve worn into the world around me; those traces that point to my past experiences, even when I’ll never be able to truly experience them myself. Surely they’d make for a far more provoking subject matter. But where to begin? What single scenario could be used to successfully represent the last year (and a bit) of my life?

When it came to me, the answer seemed quite simple: that single act that I had been repeating almost every night since I had arrived in Cape Town – sleeping in my bed.

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