Son of a Mantis
"The Son of a Mantis series of work is a result of me going through a sort of 'recycling' period in my career and practice as an artist. After painting and pursuing art for roughly ten years now, I've decided to put myself through an unlearning/relearning processes and this particular series is one of them.
By going back to some of the bases of drawing as a medium, and rebuilding up from there, I look at the act of line and mark making, firstly as a ritual. This ritual is initially guided by my own notions about the idea of indigenous ritualistic traditions. To start that process, I've looked at indigenous culture close to home, like the Khoi bushmen as well as Asian traditions and spirituality. Being a descendent of both backgrounds – more or less – this perspective makes most sense. I look at the spirituality of the ritualistic practices steeped in these traditions which include ancient forms of drawing, graffiti, cave paintings, rhythm, storytelling and myth-making. I think about the simple custom of a community gathering at a fire, telling stories, music may be made, transcendental rituals may take place. The basic need for community and warmth is at the root of every human beings' needs. The simplicity of these rituals are overlooked in today's age of social injustices, politics and acts that separate cultures.
These ideas, at the basis of this process, slowly evolve into more focused interpretations of the importance of dreams and mythology, also the act of telling stories through paintings; stories of the people in everyday situations. Again, starting from close to home, as I was born and raised in Elsies River on the fringes of the Cape Flats – telling stories of people in these situations in a dignified and honest matter exactly as they are.
The process builds from there into wonder and wander, into ideas of migration: how people move over time, locate and relocate. From Africa to India and northward over centuries and millennia before, to now, relocated through colonisation, slavery and modern gentrification. It's about how we survive, telling new stories, myths and dreams about ourselves, that point to a liberation from oppressive/oppressed backgrounds. Creativity is ancient and natural to us, regardless of how confined our surroundings and circumstances may be. This has been displayed time and again through forms of music and art that come from circumstances like these; blues, jazz, hip-hop, graffiti, together with futuristic and contemporary recycled motifs in new forms. Reinvention is liberation."
Oor die kunstenaar:
"I am mostly a self-taught artist, started in primary school with written poetry and drawing afterwards. I became more interested in art and its history in high school, but only started researching and reading up on it extensively much later on. I later sought out some veteran artists for some sort of mentoring, as the practice of art and painting became more serious. Eventually, I received the Lionel Davis residency award at Greatmore Studios in 2012. Following this period, we formed the Burning Museum and Future Nostalgia collectives. Burning Museum became a workshop of minds alike, fusing ideas around the histories of people descended from slavery, colonisation and displacement, in the hope of tracing lost narratives and ultimately, identities. The collective's members are currently dispersed around the country and abroad, whilst the work continues in each individual's capacity. Future Nostalgia is an ongoing collective that traces and aims to connect cultures through sound, music and rhythm, drawing from vinyl records. The collective hosts and curates events with these objectives, as it was initially formed by a group of DJ's and selectors, although it has grown to include sonic artists and performers."
Grant Jurius op Instagram.
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