Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Joburg Streets

I have been working on what I think will be a series, of Jo'burg's domestic workers (ie. maids, nannies and housekeepers) during their leisure moments. These women seem to gather quite randomly and spontaneously on pavements and grass verges, in the shade if it's hot, or in the sun if it's cool, and talk and laugh and have a rich community life right on our suburban doorsteps. Secluded behind high walls, and isolated in my little studio, I sometimes feel quite envious of the ready availability of companion and friendship - though of course I am very aware of the privilege of being able to paint in my studio while someone else takes care of the ironing.
The paintings are small - just 25x25 cm - and I try to gather reference photos surreptitiously so noone is self-conscious or poses for the camera. I would like to draw them from life, but am sure that would cause consternation!

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