Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Fire Walker


Our sketching group was privileged to be invited to sketch in William Kentridge's garden last week. The artist himself was away, but the place was abuzz with gardeners and its designer, who gained permission for us to visit - house and studio staff, personal assistants and visiting builders and workmen - really a full-on business in motion. We were allowed a peek into the huge studio where some exciting work-in-progress was displayed on shelves and walls. After an exhausting climb to the top of the garden to see the stunning views, I settled for a section of the garden in which a smaller version of William Kentridge and Gerhard Marx's 11 metre high FireWalker sculpture strides under an old fig tree. (I was struck by the holes in the fig leaves echoeing the holes in the sculpture and spent too long trying to depict that!) From various angles, the sculpture looks like scattered shapes of black and white metal plate, but when you see it directly from the front, they join together to form the figure of a woman, often seen around the streets of Joburg, who cook and sell mielies (corn) and meat over their fire braziers, carried to and from work balanced on their heads.
Ah, me and William K, working and drawing in the same inspiring surroundings...who would have thought!!

7 comments:

RH Carpenter said...

What a wonderful opportunity! Sounds like a great place to see that most do not get to visit. I was curious about the first sketch, looking and trying to figure it out - then the second brought it all into view :)

Sadami said...

Wow, Cathy, what a wonderful opportunity you got!! The sketches interest viewers so much. Thank u for sharing them.
Kind regards, Sadami

Shirley said...

I fell in love with Wm Kentridge through his exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and can only imagine how much fun you had. Love the painting you did.

laura said...

Love the white-black-green color scheme, and the graphic and lively quality of these paintings.

Polly Birchall said...

Fascinating. I wondered what you had painted from the small image on the blogs I follow, luv it!

Suzanne McDermott said...

Howdy, Stranger! Love these sketches and delighted to read about your work in Kentridge's garden. What fabulousness! I made a caricature of him once from a photo in a New Yorker profile: http://tinyurl.com/d8tvxyd
So glad I stumbled by at just this very moment. Lots of love to you.

Sue Pownall said...

How fascinating and great drawings.