Our featured artist today is critically acclaimed visual artist Diane Victor. Victor’s inspiration throughout her creative process was the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and University of Johannesburg Choir’s rendition of Trilo by Bengt Ollen. Trilo is the haunting song that tells of a woman calling or lamenting into the great fog, calling out to men at sea.
Read the full story about Victor’s, ‘There’s no waiting for a ship of fools’ and see how it came to life.
This drawing was made in response to a number of influences. The soundtrack of Trilo [Bengt Ollen] performed by the UJ Choir; the lockdown responses of individuals during the Covid-19 pandemic and the body of work that I had been exploring for my show, which was to open at UJ the following month. Folly and Frailty [in praise of folly] the initial drawing was produced by the accidental marks created by pouring ground charcoal powder down the surface of a clean page of drawing paper.
Using these accidental marks to inform the rest of the drawing and expose implied forms and figures. The soundtrack of Trilo is long and haunting, women calling or lamenting into the grey fog, calling out to men at sea, anticipating their return or the possibility of their loss.
The slipping grey powder, I felt to be an appropriate medium to equate the grey shifting sea mist out of which the forms of the figures emerge. The little boat, perhaps yet another ship of fools, filled with the dreams of a better life, is populated with these “accidental” forms and is balanced as in a dream, on the prostrate body of a sleeping man.
We are our own ‘self-made fools’, we build our ships and sail them unguided into the world. Many of the bizarre actions and statements on social media exposing the public’s reactions to the international call for isolations reveal the fools in all of us.
Like some version of Biblical Noah, we do not wait for a ship of fools but build our own to venture out into the unknown.