Drawing, 62 x 42 cm
One of the strongest concepts in my arts practice is serial repetition, allowing a movement beyond simple representation into an artistic enquiry. My series “Leaves of Life” is a catalogue of natural and man made objects in my environment.
Repeating an image applies the idea of Gertrude Stein that “a rose is a rose is a rose…” It also reveals more of the object’s essence, reducing the distance between me—the subject, and the object. We both remain the same, yet change simultaneously—based at this point on another idea from Gertrude Stein: that repetition does not produce exactitude.
For this drawing I have chosen cowrie shells. Not because of their smooth, procelain-like shine or their ceremonial and decorative, even monitary significance. I am drawing cowries because their shape, particularly from below, is so corresponding to the female form. I am depicting their under surface with its narrow, slit-like opening, and apply the modular principles of serial art. I expand this concept by stepping into an almost abandoned cultural space: handwriting. In addition to repeating the image, I repeat text—a two-word message with an ambiguous meaning, specific to the depicted cowrie shells.
I have rendered this beautiful natural object in a series of drawings, linoprints and sculptures. Please see also my artwork “Honour Openings” in the print media section.