MURALS IN LES SEMBOULES

Murals on the highway

Les Semboules, a suburb on the outskirts of Antibes, is post-1960s flatland with some cluster development.  The murals that I have seen here, the hip hop work, probably have little to do with their Bronx origins of the 1970s and 1980s.  What appeals to artists here, it seems, is the yang-energy that has manifest this cousin to abstract expressionism internationally.

There is portraiture, one of which is Jacques Prevert, the avant-garde poet, after whom the primary school is named.  The last one I found particularly interesting.

Jacques Prevert

 

The murals following took the place of this last mural.

On many of the temporary screens surrounding building sites, there is a spontaneous outpouring of mural art.

 

© Will van der Walt

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

March, 2018

 

Images

My photographs

 

Murals at the physio’s practice

 

 

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WINE IN FRANCE

 When I am tempted to wax eloquent about wine, I am cautioned.  That caution takes the form of a short story by Roald Dahl called Taste.  So I am persuaded to let others say it … the wise, the witty and the lovers of wine.

“The peoples of the Mediterranean began to emerge from barbarism when they learnt to cultivate the olive and the vine”  –  Thucydides, Greek historian, 5th-century BC.

“Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever” – Aristophanes, Greek playwright, 4th-century BC

“Either give me more wine or leave me alone”  –  Rumi, poet, 12th-century

“Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy”  –  Benjamin Franklin, statesman, 18th-century

“Wine … the intellectual part of the meal”  –  Alexandre Dumas, novelist, 19-century

“Wine is the most civilized thing in the world”  –  Ernest Hemingway, novelist, 20th-century

“If food is the body of good living, wine is the soul  –  Clifton Fadiman, wine lover, 20th-century

© Will van der Walt

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

March, 2018

 

Quotation sources

Ceja Vineyards Wine quotes

Hopewell Valley

Wine Folly

 

Images

My photographs of wines I’ve had in France

 Drawing by Ben Nicholson 

 

 

 

 

LES FRANÇAIS MANGENT

 

Warm goats cheese salad

Dark caviar

The French eat and they do it like few other Western cultures.  I confess that my impression is from French television.  Switch from channel to channel and you see their love for food, the training of cooks, the variations on a well-known recipe, food competitions, traditional ways of preparing food, French approaches to foreign foods, experimentation … the list goes on.

It is not that French people are insensitive to what is happening in the rest of the world or willfully uninformed.  My impression is that preparing and serving Coquille St Jacques is as important to them as  the results of the Russian elections.  That a new Provencal recipe on asparagus-and-salmon gets as much attention as human trafficking in Indonesia.  That salade endives is at least as important as steel tarrifs in America.

Coquille St Jacques

Taste-wise and philosophically, I approve.  We are encouraged to live for the moment, in the moment.  There is nothing like the sumptuous taste of good food to bring you to the present.  The French are masters of this.

Lapin

Alice B. Toklas, an outsider to French culture, writes, “The French approach to food is characteristic;  they bring to their consideration of the table the same application, respect, intelligence and lively interest that they have for painting, for literature, and for the theatre.”

And we haven’t even started on wine in France.  On this John Keats writes …

O for a beaker full of the warm South, 

Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, 

                With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, 

                        And purple-stained mouth…

 And that isn’t even a Frenchman.

 Instead of “Live well,” the French say, “Mangez bien.”  (Eat well).

A cup of café au lait in a bistro on the Seine

© Will van der Walt

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

March, 2018

 

Sauces

Alice B. Toklas quotation – foodreference.com

John Keats:  Ode to a Nightingale

 

Images

My photographs (of plates I have enjoyed)


 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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