Preparing for Freedom (2023)
Mixed Media on Re-Claimed Canvas sheet 1500mm x 1000mm
I’m calling my new series of works ‘Ragged Psalms’. Is it a dumb title? Dunno? ‘Ragged Psalms’ is taken from a song I wrote as a 16 year old and I believed it was a good lyric then so I’m holding on to that teen naiveté and belligerent belief in my own immortality and great writing ability, and so there it is.
These ‘Ragged Psalms’ works are all made on old/found/reclaimed canvas sheets with age-damage and multiple layers of paint.
Back in the day I lived in South Africa. A friend recently spoke with me about making work from our own experiences. Memory is malleable, particularly after a couple of decades, but this comes from back then. It shows a family.
The title comes from Albie Sachs’ paper ‘Preparing ourselves for Freedom’ - which became the focus of much debate. Reading recently about this, I came across this quote from Braam Kruger, a prominent South African Artist which resonated powerfully with me:
‘I only feel really secure when I distrust the art I am making. When you don’t really know what the art is worth, and you think its really bad, so you put it away, but when you next take it out it still worries you, that’s when it’s subversive. I like that because the work is confronting me, undermining my values’.