Friday, May 28, 2010

Getting out and about

A key part of my very practical National Diploma in Art and Design course at the EL Technical College under Jack Lugg entailed getting out into the world and drawing people and places encountered. Of course it was always great to get onto the bus and head out, but the serious side was we had to try and make art.

The following two drawings are among several I have unearthed from these early outings, and were done, if I recall correctly, in North End, a part of East London that was racially mixed but, like District Six in Cape Town and South End in Port Elizabeth, saw the people of colour living there being forced out in the 1960s and 1970s under the pernicious Group Areas Act.

When we visited, though, the place still seemed to have a lot of character.

This is the right-hand three-fifths of a large drawing I did in North End. I was unable to merge it with the less impressive part on the left, but I think this is not a bad effort for 1975, aged 19. I quite enjoy the corrugated iron-looking building, as well as the figure walking up the road.

These two women, drawn waiting possibly at a bus stop, are also typical of the sort of images I would do for the rest of my life, trying to capture people simply going about their daily lives. There are obvious flaws, like the poor drawing of the arms of the woman on the left. But the important thing at this stage, and I never realised it at the time, was to keep drawing.

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