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, 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 ridge 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 draw 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 city, who cook and sell mielies (corn) and meat over their fire braziers, which they carry to and from work balanced on their heads.
Ah, me and Wm.Kentridge, working and drawing in the same inspiring surroundings...who would have thought!!
On the flag: Charlottesville, Virginia, USA sketcher Jessie Chapman sketching at Charlottesville train station with UVA Medical Center in the distance.
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