Colour provokes a psychic vibration. Colour hides a power still unknown but real, which acts on every part of the human body.
– Wassily Kandinsky –
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to re-visit Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) where I was born and raised. An even greater opportunity was being able to care for an old friend who was in hospital at the time. Sitting outside the Mater Dei Hospital one hot afternoon my eye fell on something shiny reflecting in the sharp sunlight. My curiosity led me to explore a bit further and I discovered that a few rocks had been covered with silver paint. It was unclear to me whether this had been done intentionally or whether it had happened by accident in some way. There was no obvious reason I could see as to why they had purposefully been painted.
Perhaps the obscurity of the illusive reason to this mystery is what kept me awake that same night. Since seeing these silver-clad stones I have been experiencing a recurrence of the memory of this image. I have also started becoming deeply drawn to the colour silver.
This is a completely new experience for me as most of my artistic life I have purposefully avoided colour. I am starting to think about colour; even consider colour. In Concerning the Spiritual in Art Wassily Kadinsky says that: ‘Color is a power which directly influences the soul.’ For Kadinsky there is a strong correlation between art, music and spirituality.
A South African artist whose work has fascinated me for some time is that of Jan-Henri Booysen. Booysen’s work often incorporates music or musical metaphors. His current exhibition WHITEOUT at blank projects shows work that leans towards Glitch art which, according to the exhibition printout is ‘a result of his fascination with pixel drifting, data mulching and other forms of automated abstraction.’
On a personal level I have found his work around automated abstraction particularly intriguing and there is an overlap here with my own work. Perhaps then for this reason that in WHITEOUT I was most strongly drawn to a smaller (91 x 76 cm) painting entitled Blind verlug ( 2014) exhibited opposite the office area at blank projects.
Blind verlug (2014) captures Booysen’s automative gestures on a silver surface. Perhaps, as Kadinsky suggests, silver’s power is still hidden and unbeknown to me. It most certainly affects me corporeally, emotionally and spiritually.