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Mine (in Cadmium Red and Caput Mortuum) (2019)

Faber Castel Drawing pencils (Shades of Cadmium Red, Orange and Caput Mortuum) on Arches, 75 X 100 cm

Price: R12 500

South Africa is currently battling to fathom the extent of state capture, meaning the gradual capturing of state and public assets by private companies or other stakeholders through political influence. In a series of drawings including this one, I am exploring some historic state capture projects, by referencing the Kimberley Hole, one of the deepest open mining pits dug by hand. By drawing in colour and abstracting, I am re-appropriating black and white photographs of the diamond mine. In this work I have drawn with two colour; cadmium (orange, reds and yellows) and caput mortuum (light brown and violet-brown). In studying the history of the original pigments connected to the names of these colours, one realises that the cadmium in original and not in artificial form was extremely toxic, while caput mortuum meant "useless substance", "dead head" and "the ultimate culmination of decay'. In the similar sense, the English word "caput" which has a different root, but means destroyed, also references ruination. By doing this, I am making a correlation between historic and contemporary capture projects by commenting on how toxic systems and the accompanying human greed negatively effects human life-worlds and environments.

Thresholds: Eureka