Saturday, January 31, 2009


Big Shots, (2008). Copies of ballpoint pen drawings, preparatory studies for a ceramic sculpture.

Writer Margie Orford sees contact crime and crimes against women and children as sublimated civil war, writes Sue Grant Marshall, Books Weekend Review, The weekender Saturday - Sunday Jan 24-25 2009.
"In South Africa war ended and the violence started - it's gone into the bodies of women and kids. It's a failure of masculinity. Men just don't know how to behave. "Its such a violent, misogynistic society, so filled with hatred of the feminine, as evidenced in a 13 -year-old girl being stabbed 150 times."

"Orford wants to know what happens when fathers, in a literal and metaphorical sense, rape small girls and then throw them away 'like an old tissue. A little girl is a symbol of hope and regeneration. Such a patriarchal culture has to implode'".
I thought it fitting, in the context of the above listed quotes to showcase some of my old work and more importantly a ballpoint pen drawing for a ceramic sculpture to be titled Big Shots
(all capturing aspects associated with the issues above*). The work took shape in direct response to all the senseless violence in the world ( war & violent crime). The central figure represents society frustrated by the egos of masculine war moguls & warlords.

Umberto Eco in his new book, Turning back the clock, states that "it is as if history, breathless after leaps forward made in the last two millennia, is drawing back into itself, returning to the comfortable splendours of tradition (2008:4).

The Spirit of a wounded nation flows away with it's blood, (1995) Collection of the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Terracotta hand built ceramic sculpture.

The Spirit of a wounded nation flows away with it's blood, Detail (1995).

Night Howler Detail. (1996) Carl Landsberg Collection.

Night Howler (1996) Carl Landsberg Collection. Hand built in porcelain with black under glaze painting.

The Swine, Collection Carl Landsberg, Handbuilt porcelain.

Mother of Prostitutes (1985) Private collection, Press moulded terracotta sculpture. This particular sculpture represents the epitome of greed, lust and power. The main figure is mother earth exploited. The lustful creatures are her offspring. They rape, burn and devour her. The tail is the counterpart of masculine supremacy.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I wish to bring to the attention of all my religious friends the website of the Gay Catholic Forum and their views on homosexuality and related issues. I express my solidarity with their struggle for acceptance in the church community. Their expressed views are in sharp contrast to the recent comments made by the pope - captured in the news paper article posted below the following text.

We, the Gay Catholic Forum, believe that sexuality is a fundamental element of every human being and that our homosexuality is a special gift God has given us. We thank God for this wonderful gift!
As baptized members of the Church, the People of God, we strive to be faithful followers of the Resurrected Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit will guide us in living our vocation.

We are sorry that some in the Church do not understand or appreciate our gift. While we are saddened and hurt by the misinformation these people promote, we pray with hope for a time when the Church is more attuned to the working of the Holy Spirit. We trust in the Lord.

We will not allow anyone to come between us and the love of God. ”.
Extract from their website - click on the link above.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Celebrating Pansies

My latest works, currently on view at ArtSpace, until the end of the month. The ceramic platters with decals (shown here) forms part of an exhbition entitled Oppitafel (on the table). Below is a detail of one of the platters.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pansy drawing and reference material

The preparotory ballpoint pen drawing (above), images and text (below) provide insight into the conceptual development and interpretation of the generic sculptural form, shapes and surface decoration of my ceramic sculptures posted on the blog.

The painting is by Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, entitled “A Young Daughter of the Picts painted in 1585-8, watercolour and body colour touched with gold on vellum. Yale Centre for British Art, New haven (Paul Mellon Collection). The tattooed ancestor stands for a barbarian past that is at once acknowledged and disavowed.

The text is an extract from Juliet Flemings essay entitled “The Renaissance Tattoo” published in the book Written on the Body edited by Jane Caplan (details listed in blog book list).

Magically- Arrested step.For more information refer to the text in the image.

The drawing of the nude mail is by Sydney Carter, entitled “Drawing from Life” – student work done in 1897 for a scholarship, at the Royal College of Art, London.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Bully (2006), Digital print on acid free paper, Collections Willem De Jager & Nico Theron.
This image, titled
Bully, is printed digitally on acid free paper consists of scanned ball-point pen drawings I have done. The central image depicts the pope as Minotaur – his apron’s string forming his genitals and a pair of scissors symbolizing circumcision (becoming a child of God). The image on the right is a member of the clergy (bull with condom and
teat) whilst the figure on the left represents Saint Sebastian (depicted as a victim of abuse and aids’ negative association with homosexuality).
This image symbolically portrays the
churches global anti gay stance seen in the context of their passive response to their own clergies’ involvement in paedophilic activities (compounded by their vow to celibacy).

"In open, democratic societies, however, it is impossible to impose, let alone to police, moral systems that are based on traditional principals that are no longer accepted. That's why there is more than an element of farce in the current debate about sex and drugs in our society" Holloway, R. 1999. Godless morality page 106. see booklist for details

Friday, January 9, 2009

Government Inspected Meat

This figure is part of a series of Ceramic Sculptures reflecting / commenting on injustice, prejudice and victimization of individuals due to their sexual orientation. This particular work celebrates those gay men who have and do serve in the armed forces (war heroes). In particular it pays homage to the internationally acclaimed war poet Wilfred Owen – hence the tattooed forget-me-nots all over the body. A copy of his famous poem The Parable of the Old Man and The Young is inscribed on the base of the ceramic statement.
The title of the work “Government-inspected Meat” is gay slang for those men that have successfully qualified to serve in the armed forces despite their sexual orientation.
The work therefore calls into question the fact that such individuals qualify to serve their country only when their sexual orientation is closeted (especially in America – with their Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.).

Muscle Mary darling of the judges.

This figure is part of a series of Ceramic Sculptures reflecting / commenting on injustice, prejudice and victimization (persecution) of individuals due to their sexual orientation.
Indicative of Saint Sebastian this tattooed martyr stands for a barbaric past that is at once acknowledged and disavowed. The work is entitled Muscle Mary - gay slang attributed to a gay sub group defined by its overdeveloped muscular physiques. As a group they can be camp and effeminate. The slip cast ceramic sculpture (ornamental) reflects on the churches involvement in the infamous homosexual purge in Holland in 1730.
The surface decoration includes a decal of a broad sheet (Placat) published at the time - a detailed proclamation on the imposition of capital punishment for the crime of sodomy.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Giant Pansy

Pansy, Trimardeau or Giant Pansy. Hardy. Entirely distinct and beautiful race, with flowers of the richest and most varied shades of colour. The plants are of a vigorous and compact growth, and the flowers are each marked with three large blotches or spots. They are of fine form and size hitherto unattained in this genus - the largest of the Pansy family. Pansies are a great specialty with some colonial nurserymen, and very fine varieties can be obtained at reasonable price.

One of my latest Ceramic Scuptures, Slip cast earthenware (1100) with under glaze painting, ceramic decals and gold lustre.

This figure is part of a series of Ceramic Sculptures reflecting / commenting on injustices, prejudice and victimization of individuals due to their sexual orientation.