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Refracting the coloured image of the sun (2009)

Web cam, projector, computer, plate and charcoal pigment, oils, enamel on canvas and board

Physical dimensions: Floorboards 2440 x 3660; Painting 1701 X 2250

South Africans should be challenged to engage in alternative and authentic ways, and on complex levels, with an adolescent democracy in order to meaningfully participate in sincere and progressive democratization. In this interactive painting installation I, as a mother of boys and a painter working and living in a very insular community explore an anomaly (a difficult determinable and complex angle) between non-racial nation building, power systems and painting. The prism projections (called by Isaac Newton “the coloured image of the sun”) play on the “Rainbow Nation” as a construct and the colour spectrum as a foundation to understand colour theory and painting. Michel Foucalt, through his Panopticon makes us aware of alternative ways power is exercised; from the periphery to the centre, or, from the bottom upward. The installation offer viewer participants opportunities through an enchanting alchemical awakening process to physically, intellectually and democratically engage with rainbows projected on the floor space and on top of a painting representing crawling disengaged baby boys. The rainbows are reflected light that has been optically captured, animated and then projected. Viewer participants exercise power in how the painting is perceived and experienced. As a play on democracy, the amount of people present in certain areas (in front of the painting) determine whether the rainbows will extend from the floor to the painting, or from the painting to the floor, or whether the rainbows simply vanishes. The last mentioned action implies that somewhere in this triangular playing field there is an eminent inescapable mystical point where a person attempts to walk toward a rainbow that continuously extends further into an unreachable space.

Thresholds: Rainbowmaking, democratization, performance, digital interactivity