CANICULE

The French word for heat wave which, up to now, I haven’t known or known about.  There has been no need.  But the last two weeks have been the hottest I’ve experienced in France.  It might well be the hottest weather that anyone under forty has known.

I remember the heat in Durban — thick, wet and clinging.  Elsewhere in South Africa the summers are dry.  The Côte d’Azur is different from France:  when it’s snowing in the rest of the country, the day is sunny here; while France was getting the brunt of the Saharan heat sweeping up through Portugal and Spain, with temperatures soaring to 40°C, the Côte d’Azur reached only 34°C.  But, make no mistake, the thickness, the wetness, the clinging are there.

Everything wilts

The meteo on TV keeps promising change.  At the beginning of the third week we have begun to wonder at their competence.  Each day we draw the curtains to live in stygian gloom. We get the roof fan turning. We switch on the air-conditioner.  Our supply of chilled mineral water is dwindling. I walk around the apartment in my Australian underpants;  Claudie is too hot to notice.

This year long-standing weather records have been surpassed globally.  Sceptics are having a harder time in persuading us that climate change is a hoax.  Will we see winter again?

The tight smile of the air-conditioner

At nine minutes to four — yes, let it be documented — the first hot drops of rain began falling on the place below our apartment window.  As I write this evening, there is a cool breeze bringing benediction to the passage and to our rooms.

Place Charles Cros – note the rain puddle

© Will van der Walt

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

9th August, 2018

 

My photographs

 

 

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ERIC MCKEOWN – Photographer

I have for many years admired the photography of Eric McKeown, a South African cameraman and artist.  He was born in the 1960s and I have always sensed that those times of creativity, of questioning things and believing in art were somehow fused in his being.  I share some of his work.

This image he calls “Dunes”.  Like some of his other images it has a touch of the dream.  It is also well composed, with a fine colour sense.

The composition of this image “City” radiates from its compelling centre.  I don’t recognise the cityscape.  It might have been in the United States.

In this playful image collage of his partner, he  captures her moods.

Again, the dream-like quality in the “Sandton Tower”.

The appeal for me here in “City” is the strata of colour with the fading city at the centre.

A well-composed image “Clouds” that has for me the feel of a baroque roof mural.

This image “Lagoon in moonlight” has a brooding.  The texture itself has an unreal feeling, bordering on sepia abstraction..

This tribute “Zebra” has a glow about it.  The photogenic quality that zebras have also helps.

“Me and my Cat” is an imaginative selfie, bordering on abstraction.

(c) Will van der Walt

http://www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

July, 2018

 

Images

Photography by Eric McKeown (copyright) 

 

With thanks to Eric, for permission to display the images 

Empire State in New York

MURALS IN CAPE TOWN

 The first in a series of two

It is interesting to see people’s reactions to graffiti art.  Quite often they judge it as if it were some less than savoury expletive.  But even a superficial glance must convince one that, in the decades after the 1960s, graffiti art has evolved in form and quality beyond all expectation.  It has been said that graffiti art has taken the history of art into new directions.

The images that I have are random.  Others might have a better representation of what Cape Town offers.  I share mine to get the chat going.

These two works are by the Cape Town artist, Faith 47, who has achieved international repute and has been invited to paint murals in capitals of the world.  The first is on the vibracrete fence at Zonnebloem school in District Six.  The second is six storeys high – a woman in traditional dress and her child.

These works are on walls in Woodstock.  The first two may have an ideological message.

The next two are part of commercial advertising.  In the last one the barred shadow of the burglar bar over the bird only happens at certain times of the day.

© Will van der Walt

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

March, 2018

 

Images

My photographs

 

See also “HipHop Graffiti” in http://www.loertoer.wordpress.com   

 

 

 

 

 

 

MURALS IN CAPE TOWN

The second in a series of two

I have an idea that these two murals on the way to Cape Town airport were also done by Faith 47.  The first I call Radio Boy.  The second, Speak no Evil, is remarkable by any standards.

I saw these two twice life-size hands on the wall of a garden in Panorama.  I have no idea who painted this.  With so much of this art it is a matter of Look-what-I-did, not Praise-me-for-what I-did, because you don’t know who I am.

Vibracrete wall fencing must rank as the most unaesthetic invention, in my opinion.  So it is that I painted these two murals on my vibracrete fence in Monte Vista.  I copied them from tiles that are about six times smaller than they are.  The originals, I thought, were affectionate parodies of Khoi-San rock art.

© Will van der Walt

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

March, 2018

 

Images

My photographs

 

See too “HipHop Graffiti” in www.loertoer.wordpress.com 

which deals with graffiti art in Mowbray, Cape Town. 

SERIMA – a kind of rebirth

The Serima Mission Church in Zimbabwe, founded by Father Groeber (1903 – 1972), a Swiss missionary, after the Second World War, is a landmark in the anticipated  rebirth of Africa.

I have not been to Serima and if I had to go it would be a kind of pilgrimage.  The images presented here mostly come from a book.

Father Groeber and sculptors

It is a biding passion for me to see how the artists of the modern world manifest concepts of the sacred;   at the same, how cultures that are not European do this.  The relief work, painting and sculpture of this mission station, facilitated by Father Groeber, is remarkable.

The Last Supper

 

Last Supper in Ethiopian coptic idiom

He stated that, from the beginning, he tried to keep traditional European images at bay, encouraging the African sculptors to develop a wholly African idiom.  It is probable that he was not entirely successful at this.

FIgures from the Old Testament

 

Annunciation

The search for the African idiom has yielded great art in the realm of the sacred and I think of the Misa Luba, the Congolese mass, to mention one memorable achievement.  Serima, at a distance, recalls for me, the Romanesque of Europe, but there are elements that are unique as well.  The idea of a “pure” culture is probably a myth.  This work, though, has Africa at its heart.

Scene of Stilling the Storm

 

Figures from Old Testament

I am uncertain what the link between the Serima art and Shona sculpture is.  I’d be happy if someone could tell me.  In the meantime I can only wonder at this rich creativity coming from a country that has known war and political unrest.

Christ figure

 

Mother and Child

© Will van der Walt

www.wilwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

February, 2018

 

Sources

ZimFieldGuide.com

Book on Serima, details pending

 

Images

ZimFieldGuide.com – Fr Groeber, Church

Book on Serima, details pending

 

 

  

 

 

 

Shona magic – sculpture from Zimbabwe

The first in a series of two

“There is always something new out of Africa”, the Roman historian wrote.  His twinkling optimism has taken a battering in the past few centuries, but when there is something new from Africa, it is remarkable.

These were my thoughts when I visited Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town years ago and, for the first time, saw the sculpture of Shona artists from Zimbabwe.  Since that time the international reputation of these artists has burgeoned.

I struggled at first to find information on the work and recently I was happy to see an article in Wikipedia that filled the gaps.

We read that the sculpture of the Shona artists has been “an art phenomenon and a miracle.”  The reason is that there are no precedents for art of this kind in this culture, compared to other parts of Africa.

The setting for these works was, of course, as special as it was unusual — generous spaces between the works, each against a verdant backdrop overarched by the majesty of the mountain.

I found most of the work strikingly creative.  My reactions ranged from being charmed to being disturbed, from a philosophical response to being deeply touched.

It gave the optimism of the Roman historian a new face.

© Will van der Walt

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

February, 2018

Source

Wikipedia :  Sculpture of Zimbabwe

 

Images

My photographs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shona Magic –  sculptures from Zimbabwe

The second in a series of two

The work of the Shona sculptors has been a revelation to me.  Consistently, they have delivered memorable forms in a wide range of themes.

There is fertility, support for AIDS victims, motherhood.  There is blindness, romantic love, images of surrealism.

Some images speak of anguish, some, of sadness.  Some are angry.

Very little of this work is design for design’s sake.  But, as one writer said, they don’t leave nature as they found it.  Some images have a dream-like quality.

I have one regret and that is that I did not, at the time, attach the names of artists to their works.  But I honour them still, whoever they may be.

© Will van der Walt

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

February, 2018

 Source

Wikipedia: Sculpture from Zimbabwe

 Images

My photographs

 

 

 

 

 

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