Dugout

August 24, 2013 § 2 Comments

Dugout

detail

Ink stained and flame charred laser cut MDF.

In 2011 we moved to Angola. Unlike in Brazil, where we lived before to moving to Angola it proved challenging to find local fellow artists or artisans as the long Angolan civil war and endemic poverty has left people deskilled and without a handed down craft. The artefacts that I did come across however were those associated with fishing such as fish traps and dugout canoes. At this time my mother in law was also diagnosed with terminal cancer so these searches for ‘authentic’ African objects in a war and poverty torn country were shadowed with the sadness and harrowing practicalities of a close relative with Stage 4 cancer. There was hope of surgery to remove the cancer if the radiotherapy was able to reduce it’s size. These two things coming at the same time triggered an image of a CT dataset (the technology that is used to image the body is the same that is used in radiotherapy) that has had all its cancer ridden organs removed in order to survive. The icon of the dugout that I had found in Angola fitted very well not only aesthetically but also poetically as it is a fine balance when carving out a canoe for it to be hollow enough to float yet strong enough to carry its passenger.

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