Song selection: 12 ‘Trilo – Bengt Ollén’ (1950)
About the artwork: There’s No Waiting for a Ship of Fools, drawing – charcoal on paper, 105 cm x 78 cm [h]
This drawing was made in response to a number of influences. The sound track of ‘Trilo – Bengt Ollén’ performed by the UJ choir; the lockdown responses of individuals during the corona 19 pandemic and the body of work that I had been exploring for my show, which was to open at UJ the following month: Folly and Frailty [in praise of folly].
The initial drawing was produced by the accidental marks created by pouring ground charcoal powder down the surface of a clean page of drawing paper. Using theses accidental marks to inform the rest of the drawing and expose implied forms and figures. The sound track of ‘Trilo’ is long and haunting, women calling or lamenting into the grey fog, calling out to men at sea, anticipating their return or the possibly of their loss.
The slipping grey powder, I felt to be an appropriate medium to equate the grey shifting sea mist out of which the forms of the figures emerge.
The little boat, perhaps yet another ship of fools, filled with the dreams of a better life, is populated with these ‘accidental’ forms and is balanced as in a dream, on the prostrate body of a sleeping man.
We are our own ‘self-made fools’, we build our ships and sail them unguided into the world. Many of the bizarre actions and statements on social media exposing the public’s reactions to the international call for isolations reveal the fools in all of us. Like some version of Biblical Noah, we do not wait for a ship of fools, but build our own to venture out in to the unknown.