Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Out of my head

Of course not all of my time was spent sketching people from life. With plenty of time to kill in the media centre at 1 Intelligence Unit in Kimberley during my stint there in 1980 and 1981, I also allowed my mind to wander, and wonder. Here are some of the weird images that emerged.

Line quality is what this exercise was all about. Constructing a three-dimensional, Cubist-type head using shading was a lot of fun, and the outcome quite pleasing, I think.

The plight of black people in apartheid South Africa was always on my mind, so again this work will have been inspired by such things as Mandela's incarceration and the 1977 death in detention of Steve Biko.

I often drew these things virtually in a daze, allowing the images to come to me, and then expanding on the lines I first put down.

The army, as this probably shows, was always a factor in my subconscious. This odd character clearly is wearing some sort of uniform.

Don't get the wrong impression. This would simply have emerged from my subconscious, with the end result as surprising to me as it would be to others. Again, the use of shading lines is key to the success of such ventures. How the few blobs of colour got there, again is a product of the process.

Pocket billiards. Here the army is parodied, this guy with an inane grin apparently pleasuring himself through his pockets.

Sometimes my imagination took over completely. Here is the proverbial two-tailed dog, looking insanely happy.

I don't know how I arrived at this dog-like cat with an obscene tongue drinking milk while the old mouse hangs suspended.

There were some curious haircuts doing the rounds. Okes would have short back and sides, but some left the top bizarrely long. Here I put the guy's head not on a block, but emerging from one.

There can be no explaining this one, except that it owes much to the likes of Picasso, who liberated art from being purely representational.

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