Se­ries of works a med­i­ta­tion

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - Arts & Entertainment - Za­man­dulo Malonde mal­on­dez@tis­black­star.co.za

“This se­ries is a med­i­ta­tion: on ill­ness, on un­wel­come ex­pe­ri­ences with death, on the rel­a­tive in­signif­i­cance of hu­man be­ings on a grand uni­ver­sal scale, and on how all of this makes it that much more im­por­tant to treat each other with care,” Port El­iz­a­beth artist Steven “Joff” Carter says of the art­works that make up his newly opened ex­hi­bi­tion, When We Were There.

Bay art lovers and sup­port­ers of the pain­ter, whose graf­fiti art adorns sev­eral pub­lic spa­ces in the Bay, are af­forded the op­por­tu­nity to tap into his in­ner thoughts at this solo ex­hi­bi­tion at Gallery Ark (In­side Ark Fur­ni­ture Works) at the cor­ner of Al­abaster Street and Up­per Val­ley Road in the Baak­ens Val­ley.

The two-week ex­hi­bi­tion, which opened to the pub­lic on Wed­nes­day, is a take on thoughts the artist went through dur­ing and while re­cov­er­ing from an ill­ness that saw his doc­tor de­clare he did not have much time to live.

“I was in bed for a year and it took quite a while for things to get back to nor­mal.

“This is kind of a round-up of how your view on life changes when you get a sec­ond chance,” Carter said.

Though he is re­luc­tant to dwell on the ill­ness that nearly broke him about six years ago, he said the se­ries of works was in­spired by that dark pe­riod, which opened his eyes to other per­spec­tives on life.

The near-death ex­pe­ri­ence prompted him to fo­cus on spend­ing his life do­ing things he loved, and so he quit his day job to fo­cus on paint­ing and mak­ing mu­sic.

Over a pe­riod of four years Carter put to­gether the se­ries and wrote mu­sic, which the pub­lic will get a taste of at the mu­si­cal in­stal­ment of the ex­hi­bi­tion on Tues­day at Remo’s Ital­ian, also in the Baak­ens Val­ley.

“I wrote some mu­sic at the same time, but the mu­sic is more lit­eral in sto­ry­telling be­cause it’s words.

“Nei­ther the words nor the mu­sic is a re­place­ment for the other, but the two are linked be­cause they were in­spired by the same event and cre­ated at the same time,” Carter said.

He will per­form with his band, Joff and The Cults.

While the artist ex­presses him­self through his many tal­ents, it is im­por­tant to him that his work is not con­fined to what it means to him, but open to the pub­lic’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion.

“I don’t mind if peo­ple don’t know – and of­ten I don’t tell peo­ple – the mean­ings of my paint­ing be­cause I’d rather they get a feel­ing from it and get their own mean­ing,” he said.

When We Were There is open for view­ing un­til No­vem­ber 21 from 10am to 7pm on week­days and from 10am to 1pm on Satur­days.

A lim­ited num­ber of tick­ets for the mu­sic show at 7pm on Tues­day cost R80 on www.webtick­ets.co.za

Pho­to­graph: EU­GENE COET­ZEE

TAL­ENTED ARTIST: Bay artist Steven ‘Joff’ Carter at the pre-open­ing night of his ex­hi­bi­tion, When We Were There, at Gallery Ark in the Baak­ens Val­ley

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