I mistakenly registered for the wrong art degree. It is my fault for not reading the fine print. In the first year all the art streams were the same – traditional art making – so I did not yet realize my error. I thought “multimedia” meant any media or material. It turns out I had to work in video editing and animation, digital art. I longed for traditional media – pencil, paint, sculpture. Getting my hands dirty with art materials. To hold a pencil, feel the pressure of the graphite on the paper. To begin the first mark on textured paper – instead I began with a white screen. This longing for traditional media kept me from falling into the digital rabbit hole. I continued with paint, drawing, sculpture and scanned or used them in the required format for the degree. Steadfastly hand drawing a simple animation of my sewing machine. I completed the “wrong” degree. I could not replace the pencils for the mouse. I could not replace a printed book for a tablet.
The inspiration for the bra is the playfulness of using toys as a material versus the serious nature of images of soldiers, which symbolize war and violence.
I have wanted to do something with toy soldiers for a long time. Therefore, I did not have to think twice when making the bra but went straight for the toy soldiers. When one is in the process of making other, ideas and themes attach to the work. One of these was how organic looking the finished bra looked, like underwater coral. Another was the interesting shadows created by the soldiers under lights when photographing.
DOWN, DOWN, DOWN
Double click internet icon;
Search: Alice in Wonderland
Lost in the rabbit hole.
Sharleene is an artist and writer based in South Africa, working in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, textiles, film and collage. She says it’s important to her to always release a piece of herself into the work. She tends to collect many treasured objects for art-making; these may be discarded things, remnants, so it becomes a personal choice of what can be used, what is worth keeping. She says that these choices may inadvertently tell a story of the artist over and above the finished artwork.
For ‘Doorways’, Sharleene work references Alice in Wonderland and particularly the references with the novel to doorways and portals. Her piece ‘Down, down, down’ uses the text of Carroll’s novel as the starting point, working with repeated strips of text to represent the rabbit hole.
This inspiration for this project was the rhythm of living close to nature. Process is an important component of my artwork. Just as the cycles of nature awaken and then sleep so I see my process as making, destroying, remaking, and destroying. At completion of a piece I try to push it one more time. A tribal festival is a return to nature. It is to beat one’s own drum. A revival of the village where like-minded people work together. It is to embrace inner creativity.
I took three large, mounted oil paintings off the wall and cut them up. It is difficult to explain the mixed emotions involved in cutting up my paintings. It was important for me to re-purpose these artworks, which I had outgrown. It was also interesting to break the two dimensional form of the oil painting and create something three dimensional out of the painting. Two of the paintings were painted in a very impasto style and this adds to the texture of the entirely hand stitched outfit.
Charcoal on ink de-stressed paper, size A2