The Joburg Fringe 2021

My wife made me do it.

Last year Rob entered a selection of her collages for the Joburg Fringe exhibit, and much to her delight one of her pieces, Rare, was accepted – you’ll find it here, in the 2020 catalogue.

We went to see the show of course, and there it was, in pride of place on the wall directly opposite the entrance in The Art Room in Parkhurst, alongside some other pretty amazing works – a real work of art, in a real art gallery, alongside other artists.

There is something about having your work taken seriously by others, I could see in her eyes, in the spring in her step, in her expression, that makes you take your work seriously, too – that lifts what might have started as a hobby, a pastime, onto a different plane, and challenges you to go further. It does something for your confidence, and your ambition.

I’m so glad you entered, I said to her, so glad that a piece of yours has been accepted, so proud of you. And then I said, thinking of my photographs, a little wistfully, I wish I had entered too. It would have been so nice to have been in this show together. Not that we would have been, necessarily, but imagine.

You should enter next year, she said. For sure, I responded. Definitely.

And I meant to, at the time, and indeed, all through the months that followed I had this idea, that I would put together a portfolio and enter it. But when the time came I found myself procrastinating, dragging my feet, obfuscating – I was too busy, too tired, too preoccupied. Maybe I would wait until we were back in Toronto, when I would have time on my hands, and leisure, and could think properly about which pictures to select – monochrome, or colour? A single theme, or a cross-section of my work? Images with an African theme, or something more Canadian? Etcetera etcetera.

Rob kept bringing me back to the moment. You should do it, she said. It’s not hard. All you need to do is write a short artist’s statement, a bio, choose six or seven images. Easy.

Easy, indeed.

I think I’ll let this one go, I prevaricated. I’ll do it next year.

Come on, Rob said. You’ll be sorry if you don’t.

So I did, posting my bio and my artist’s statement and six photographs just under the wire, at the very last moment, and as those of you know who are friends on Facebook, two of my photographs have been selected. So, for the second year in a row, has one of Rob’s collages. Which means we will be in the show together, this time around, and I shall have Rob to thank for it.

All in all, there are 39 artists in this year’s show – including two collagists from what we can tell, and 7 photographers, with yours truly and Rob amongst them. I can’t wait to see our work hanging in The Art Room in Parkhurst.

Here are the two photographs of mine that were selected; a further four images will be in this year’s catalogue.

Like I said, Rob made me do it.

African Spoonbill III
Little Egret

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