Thursday, February 17, 2011

Back at Bonzies

I opted to kick off with this drawing of a man, done during a wonderful few hours on the Bonza Bay Beach about seven years ago, for an important reason. This was a well-built young black man, proudly part of the crowd on the beach that day.

What hit home forcefully that day was that this beach had, from my youth, represented a nasty part of what apartheid meant to black people. I remember another well-built black guy called Andile, who was a leader of the Gompo livesaving club. I would bump into him on occasion in the 1970s on this beach. He was a Mr South Africa bodybuilding champion. I was a spindly art student. Black bathers were forced by segregation laws to access a distant part of the beach, via a separate path, where they had to swim among the rocks. So to see black people happily playing alongside whites on our beaches is a strong symbol of the demise of apartheid.

I've mentioned in an earlier post that there is a lovely esplanade running up the west side of the Bonza Bay River. Some of my earliest memories are of swimming in the river beside the steps, shown here. While not too clear, the little block-like kiosk and benches are also visible.

Looking east towards Gonubie.

With the sun pouring down, these three large bathers powered through the surf.

My sons, Luke and Doug, building sand castles.

The thing about these sketches is they are often done in a few seconds. Here I caught a woman surfer heading across the beach.

Some, less mobile, beach-goers keep still for longer.

Like a ship in full sale, this woman wades through the shallows.

A far more slender lady graces the sea with her presence.

A youngster with his boogie board.

Another fine form emerges from the surf.

Mother and child - in a few deft lines.

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