Explanation of artworks-Jarret

INTRODUCTION

After my early 1980’s experience with oversized work did I since focused on smaller and more transportable art pieces, originally I thought only to decorate my home, books, documentation and office with it and did not aspire to any commercial or exhibition activities on my art alone.

After my medically induced early retirement at the age of 36 years old during November 1999 due to a persistent chronic mental illness I tried almost everything for about eight years.

From volunteer councilor, flower arrangement, gardening, building, salesman, catering as a chef in a Pub and grill, delivery, contract work before looking back at my artistic hobbies to consider it as a possible career during March 2008 at the age of 44 years.

I even attempted to enter various courses in psychology, counseling, social work and management unsuccessfully due to entrance requirements and financial difficulties.

And the question also prevails what would those studies contribute as an income to my pension and what serious debts may they cause if meaningful work does not materialize soon as the economic and socio-political environment was neither in my favor?

And I do not expect to be a professional or such successful artist from start but to develop such aspirations and skills over a rather prolonged period with the assistance of artistic friends and promoters of my Euro-African geometric style and other type of artworks which may include all my former and new experiences.

As a former awarding professional photographer I realized you can not beat good realistic photograph with a paintbrush but you can beat any photograph and computer with a good surrealistic paintbrush strokes and is much faster than selecting programmed designed objects to form my images.

Therefore do my surrealistic and Euro-African geometric paintings have their own place in my artistic inventory.

ORIGINS

1963-1975

I was born the evening of 27 June 1963, at the Mary Mount Hospital, Johannesburg. I was raised first on a small holding in Benoni and then at Kempton Park.

My first art experiences was rather painful first painting and scribbling on the home walls in an effort to find a larger medium did produce some retribution.

But the origin of my Euro-African Geometric style originated possibly from a preschool class and project.

I could remembers noting very early the strange African huts and houses with their painted walls in geometric designs and bright colours

And I could remember another preschool project until today which consist first by scribbling one continues line as Celtic lines over the same lime to join it eventually up where you have started.

Then the idea was to visualize various images in the spaces and contours produced by this continue line.

Suddenly the world was geometric which produced images of fish, animals, birds, trees, faces and other images of everyday life.

Every time when I was bored with myself and the world I would scribble those surrealistic lines and try to produce as many images as possible some sharing spaces and lines and others would even realize in the bodies of others which eventually produced my geometric worlds.

It was not uncommon by this time to find on my class notes some of these images next to the page borders or other open spaces.

I could not deny my mother had no art influence in my life as I could still remember much of her art related projects as she one painted the converted garage at our Kempton Park home with neon paint images of fish and other images which had its best effect with an old neon light.

I could also remember assisting my farther with some of his technical projects there and the sixties parties they use to hold under those same lights while I would eventually dose off while they were still dancing about.

1975-1981

These years represent my High and Secondary School years, from Standard Seven (Grade 5) I was placed in a Technical School and introduced to technical drawings.

My continues line images then matured along the straight, circular, hyperbolic and angular lines of the geometry found with my technical drawing experience.

And so did my images next to my task book borders and note papers also matured as a world I could escape to.

I must provide reference to my neighbor and best friend by the name Lance who was a few years older than me and from an academic background.

He studied fine art at the Witwatersrand University and sometimes smuggled me in to their workshops to introduce me to his art projects. I can not deny his possible influence as I could not deny my mother’s before.

1981-1986

I have just finished my Secondary Technical School as “Fitter and Turner” (toolmaker) apprentice, this background provided more abilities to shape my geometric images due to the nature of this artistic trade.

Unfortunately South Africa was still at war during this period and I had to perform compulsory National Service in the SA Defense Force.

Being drafted originally for Three South African Infantry Battalion, I had a successfully application to join the South African Air Force.

Originally my attempt was to further my apprenticeship as toolmaker as a “C” class appointment.

But due to the application we had to produce alternative work which we could be appointed and here the recruitment officer entered Electro-mechanical Armaments Fitter (Aircraft Armourer).

An as they wanted I became such an apprentice at Two Squadron then based at Air Force Base Hoedspruit.

For an artist and healer war was a much traumatic experience, and my apprenticeship did not succeed, no wander even Leonardo da Vinci could see bloody battles in ash, wood grain and speckles of paint.

Lucky he and Michelangelo had never to face the all-knowing Rorschach test as they would be medicated and diagnosed, shunned aside to never produce the renaissance nor the modern civilized world and technology of democratic reasons for war and averages on which the very Rorschach based itself and not exceptional surrealistic eccentric individuals.

They moved me to the base missile section where I solely worked on the latest V3B missile as operator of their SLATE (Second Line Computerise Testing Equipment).

Being alone in the air-conditioned hall that housed my missile and testing equipment, I became board again; first the operator discovered the secret behind the programming of his then advanced the state-of-art Apple Two computer.

If those experts at DENEL Avionics then KENTRON in these years ever wander where that productivity related programme with even related graphics came from on their computer based on their missile equipment they have now many years later found the culprit in your Lance-Corporal operator. The same person who apparently did not featured in his apprenticeship.

But remaining by my art, the missile section had high and empty walls and I spend most of my time alone in this cold hall, then an art and artist was born from the ever geometric images on his notes.

With board and dyes for PVA paint he then made some large paintings he then placed on those walls which was his first colourful attempt of his art.

Lacking much skills I could remember you could not touch those paintings for they where not sealed and would rub-off on your fingers and cloths.

Unfortunately I could not recall the images I have painted or the number; I can only remember to have painted a couple before I left for the Defence Force Headquarters (DHQ) during 1986.

1986-1992

From middle 1986 until about 1992, I was stationed at Chief of Defence Force Staff, Directorate Staff Duties as a personnel clerk serving the staff officers of Ministry of Defence, Chief of the Defence Force, Chief Staff Operations, Chief Staff Planning, Inspector General and the Directorate Public Relations.

Adjacent to our building was Army Headquarters; it was there and at the joined mess hall with its accommodation that I first met Mrs (Maxi) Magdalene Pretoruis (then maiden name Wessels).

She was an artist for the Army heraldry services and was still busy with her studies in art. I can still remember her in that tack suite pants full of paint and drinking wine out of a shared glass flower pot.

She used to wear a certain dress with little bells underneath as warning if you may find her suddenly approaching on a skate board.

We remained good friends; I use to place one of the Regimental Sergeant Majors roses on her old Volkswagen Variant’s windscreen early in the morning and could recall her one towing my broken down Peugeot 305 with the same vehicle.

I also recalled being both present on her Twenty First birthday and Wedding, sometimes being in love with her before her marriage as I would assist her with even the dustiest and dirty art projects.

I also rather reluctantly recall her burning a piece of paper with my handwriting on a multimedia and successfully submitting it as an art project.

Maxi became my life long art protégé and today buss with her Doctoral in fine art we are still close friends which consult each others welfare weekly.

It was with her inspiration that I completed my oil painting “CONFIDANCE” during 1988 based on my early Geometric style and this painting is still in my collection today as seen on my website.

I also created another art piece in coloured candle wax which I unfortunately later destroyed it, but Maxi did prefer my own Geometric painting above it and already then saw some merit in my work. It was her merit and inspiration that made all the difference in developing my confidence and style until today.

1992-1999

During middle 1992 I was transferred to the official periodical PARATUS of the South African Defence Force under the Directorate Public Relations. Being first a journalist and later a photo-journalist and technical consultant, due to the demanding work and finances I gave up most of my memberships to extramural organisations and activities.

During 1995 I first became ill and suffered much stress related to my work, broken friendship with a lady and workload, in the same year I was awarded the prestigious Military Merit Medal (M.M.M.) for my work as a photo-journalist by the General George Meiring the Chief of the South African Defence Force himself at a parade held at Army College.

During occupational therapy in One Military Hospital’s Psychiatric Wing, I produced two wood carvings, one was of a finch which I still have in my collection and the other was of a horse which I sold to some visitor at the ward.

It was during this time and the reoccurring six-month relapses that I first started again on my geometric art and produced three oil paintings during 1996.

The first being “BATTLEMANTIS” which Maxi who then where working at the South African Military College Media Centre after being transferred from Shows and Exhibitions, also evaluated and provided advise for future work.

The other two “THE CREATO THEORY” and “THE CREATO SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY” were actually designed as geometrical illustrations to my psychological and sociological related Creato Theory.

But due to be continuously ill and emotional did I not work much on my geometrical art, I completed two other oil paintings in 1998, “THE HOUSE OF CLARK” and “TIN FISH” and was most probably done again when I was ill at hospital.

My condition deteriorated to such an extend during December 1998 that I was eventually medically boarded permanently unfit for military service and officially placed on early retirement and a small pension during November 1999.

1999-2007

Being early retired, restless and very board with myself alone I usually tried to therapeutically express my feelings and views through utilising prose and poetry. Yet in 2004 for some reason I found energy to paint another geometric oil painting “ADAM AND EVE OVER CANCER” and then followed a four year dry spell in any of my paintings. I did however successfully work on my prose and poetry, as well as produced one artistic lamp feature with electronic lights and silk flowers.

During this period I realised the value of using art to advocate for people with mental illness and arranged a handful of local art exhibitions.

 

2008-MARCH MADNESS

On 29 February 2008, my small car was in an accident and written off and I found myself  without transport and uncertain that I could replace it due to the other driver who hit my rear while stationary at a red traffic light not having the insurance or financial means to do so.

I knew I had to produce some exceptional psychological effort to prevent both a relapse of my mental illness or a possible depression, while being still in shock and muscular pain with a neck brace.

I grabbed at my paint, brushes and tools to produce in one month Twenty-one paintings, two sets of Stone Age sculptures and one multimedia with small vinyl records, I called the March Madness.

1.            “BATWOMAN” (Acrylic on art canvas board)
2.            “AFRO-LION” (Acrylic on art canvas board)
3.            “HOLISTIC GUT SNAILS” (Acrylic on art canvas board)
4.         “THE RAINBOW BIRD” (Acrylic on art canvas board)
5.            “STING IN AMBER” (Acrylic on art canvas board)
6.            “PONDERING DONKEY” (Acrylic on art canvas board)
7.            “PENCIL WORMS” (Acrylic on a self prepared canvas from ‘n old T-shirt)
8.            “AFRICAN JACOBITE KIPPER” (Acrylic on a self prepared canvas from ‘n .old T-shirt)
9.         “HINT OF MAN”             (not geometric but an attempt to produce the same effect of oil paint with Acrylic paint)
10.            “DOLPHIN” (Acrylic on a self prepared canvas from ‘n old T-shirt)
11.            “AMAZING GRACE” (Acrylic on a self prepared canvas from ‘n old T-shirt)
12.            “AFRICAN BIGFOOT” (Acrylic on a self prepared canvas from ‘n old T-shirt)
13.            “VUURVLIEGIE SE PREDIKANT”           (Acrylic “Firefly’s Preacher” on an art canvas board)
14.            “SPAROW OVER TOROISE” (Acrylic on an art canvas board)
15.            “PARADISE BIRD” (Acrylic on an art canvas board)
16.       “MA-ITI” (Acrylic, to explain my Euro-African geometric style and history)
17.       “THE PEACE CARPET” (Acrylic on ceramic tile)
18.            “HOLISM AND EVOLUTION” (Acrylic on ceramic tile)
19.       “TIME IS NOT IN THE OBSERVER”S HANDS” (Acrylic on ceramic tile)
20.            “EXSODUS” (Acrylic on ceramic tile)
21.       "Klien Karoo Volstruis"
22.       “THE FISHERMAN”S GEAR” (Stone Age hand sculpture)
23.       “THE TALKING STICKS” (Stone Age hand sculpture)
24.            “LISTEN TO THE MUSIC” (vinyl records multimedia, the NP Rubicon Speech of 1987)

I must admit in working with my art every moment that month kept me positive and the effort was very successful yet mentally and physically draining at the end to receive much rest.

But its inspiration and act left me understanding my ability as a possible prominent artist which with further assistance and guidance could amount to a successful new rewarding and financial rewarding career if suitable markets and buyers could be found.