Wednesday, 22 May 2013

William Kentridge


I find the work of William Kentridge inspirational to my art practice.  Drawing is his core business and I like that. 

William Kentridge is a South African artist.  He was born and continues to live and work in Johannesburg, living within a 5 km radius his entire life.   He was born in 1955 to a family of lawyers and civil right activists and this helped to shape the man.

It is difficult to discuss William Kentridge in a few paragraphs as he cannot be summarized so easily. His drawings are the basis to his films, theatre, etchings, linocuts, tapestries, sculptures and more. 
 His films were begun as a way for him to avoid overworking a drawing.  He begins a drawing and then takes a picture, returns to the drawing, changing it marginally, then takes  another photo.  Back and forth he goes, erasing and adding charcoal and taking successive photos.  The result is a form of animation. The paper at the end  is a battered rubbed grey drawing but it is the process and the resulting film which is of interest.

The films tell stories based on figures from his dreams, political issues, South Africa, family, literature or mythology.   The film’s music is South African.  Last year we attended Kentridge’s exhibition entitled  Five Themes at The Museum for the Moving Images in Melbourne. It was fantastic, rooms with multiple films and sound in one space, puppet theatres with multiple images and effects as well as sculptures. There is a Kentridge film playing at the Art Gallery of NSW as well as many major galleries around the world.

William Kentridge exhibits with the Annandale Galleries in Sydney. Last year I was able to buy a little Kentridge linocut, one of his iconic images, a self portrait.
 If you aren't familiar with the work if this artist please do some research yourself and keep an eye out if you are lucky enough to be in a major museum or international exhibition anywhere in the world.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Nancy. He is a great favourite of mine too. I have to admit that I hadn't seen the series of pics of him with the birds. I'm in the middle of drawing crows for an animation,so I adore it (of course!. Wonderful!