I have not nearly accomplished all the sorting and clearing and giving away that i had wanted to when i began on this week's task. But I have begun, and will continue it in bite sized pieces of time. But on the top shelf of a cupboard, wrapped in a big plastic garbage bag was a work I had made in 2009, never finished, never shown, and totally forgotten about.
I began this work in response to the horrible xenophobic attacks on African foreigners that swept through South Africa in 2008. It had been a terribly upsetting time, and I felt moved to make a work that commented on it. So I took red woolen berets that are commonly worn by African women, and onto them, I screenprinted text from the newspaper reports on the xenophobic attacks. I then beaded objects of work that foreigners who come here, usually do - a garden rake as many of the men become gardeners, a gas pump as they work at gas stations. a scissors and a sewing machine as many of them, especially Malawians are tailors.
I never fully resolved this work and when I re-look at it now, 7 years later, I see things that I would have done differently. I want to make more of this sort of work - work that has a meaning. In my daily life, I design functional textile products which we produce and sell and which pays the bills. I enjoy designing these products, but I would also like to make art - to make work that digs deeper and that has different concerns. I haven't spent enough time developing that side of myself - and I feel creatively frustrated - as if there is something I want to say, but haven't yet found what it is, or how to say it.
How interesting that the cleaning of a cupboard has made me come to this realization.