To go beyond concrete…

It’s moving late into the night as I type this up. My mind continues to wander as I ponder the contrast of where I was this very minute yesterday. I am no longer engulfed in the underground sounds of techno at Mødular. but rather find myself sitting at my desk in this lonely hostel room. I’m guided by the everlasting buzz of Main Road that wafts through my window. I’ve taken note that it’s a lot stronger than the coffee I’m sipping. I mean, I’m left sitting in near-silence, pondering my vision and thoughts surrounding this blog.

On any other night it’d be my eclectic taste in music synchronised with the glowing red and white lights of the menacing machines of Rondebosch Main Road. Yet, tonight, my thoughts are in their place and louder than expected. It’s evident another endeavour in showing myself to the world has left me reminiscing about my past… What has brought me to find myself in this space?

Light trails of cars passing along the M3 before UCT

The flow of cars rushing to-and-fro pulsates like a heart with an irregular beat. I am instantly reminded of my previous life in the organised chaos that is Johannesburg – my environment now is very different to what it was then. But, it’s in the road I find the metaphor I seek.

Left in the midst of a machine finding its way through the city, as a tool of getting to where they’re going, I see the road as my experiences. I acknowledge that this very road I’ve taken in life wouldn’t be the same without my exposure to the arts.

Image of a mural taken during the 2014 City of Gold Festival

My particular exposure to graffiti, abstract murals, mixed media pieces – as well as all that encompasses ‘street art’ – influenced how I approached Visual Art in high school. I found that I was somehow able to resonate with the vivid depictions of imagined characters, the cryptic allusions to societal habits and the varied expressions of storytelling – despite their diverse influences and locations. I found a truly humanistic and natural relation between what was presented on a concrete level, through its physical existence, and the meanings of which it was endowed. The latter of which I came to enjoy as a means of discussing the relevant notions surrounding social commentary, introspective reflection or resistance to societal or organisational standard through the application of the arts to modern life.

Now louder than usual, it’s the continuous flow of lives trundling, speeding and creeping along their chosen paths that lead me to the realisation of how much my environment affects my personal development, especially how I understand myself. In coming to this realisation, I feel it would be best for me to use this blog as a means to delve into the differing artistic narratives that surround me. After all, it was my new-found independence in a new city last year that prompted my personal growth and impacted my perceptions through choosing to share in new experiences. I don’t seek to disqualify any form of art on the basis of medium or meaning but to highlight and acknowledge the different perceptive values of someone’s work on a level below the surface.

Tristan Eaton is pictured painting a subversive mural of Versace’s logo

It’s all well and good to create visually stimulating pieces but what purpose does that serve? For surely each piece serves even the smallest purpose? Whether it’s intended to make you smile, ponder the missing presence of a lost loved-one or subject you to the lived experience of an individual you may otherwise struggle to relate to, these purposes speak volumes.

concrete

/ˈkɒŋkriːt/

adjective

1. existing in a material or physical form; not abstract.

Thus, I seek to go beyond ‘concrete’.

beyond

/bɪˈjɒnd/

preposition & adverb

1. on or to the farther side

noun

1.farther than

Image of Tristan Eaton sourced from his website.

Additional images taken by Arron Moos.

 

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