BOSOM BUDDIES SWIM

I started open water swimming in 2013, when I thought that depression was a normal state of existence and crying in the shower was a daily routine. I was studying Fine Arts and we would have daily critiques from 2-5pm – which, in Cape Town’s sweltering heat, were incredibly unpleasant to endure. Don’t get me wrong – a lot of bonding was done, too, but I mean, our faces say it all.

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Picture taken by Aaron Samuel Mulenga

One day, a family friend invited me to go ‘play in the waves’ at Camps Bay, where she would meet up with a friend who would actually swim out, past the waves, to the back of Camps Bay… and across, and then back. Later on I found out this was called the Sunday Hot Chocolate Swimming group – come join us!

“Why don’t you come join us next weekend?” She suggested.

Having the philosophy of trying anything once – I agreed.

With the help of Ann I became more comfortable in the ocean and for about 2 years I religiously swam 3 times a week… getting fitter and more confident in the ocean.

Swimming in the ocean is addictive. It is like going on a high – that first shock of walking into the water… sometimes one can’t even breathe, and it feels like a panic attack is coming on.

With the encouragement from one’s peers, for me it was Daniel, Brian, and sometimes Arafat, I would keep swimming, moving my limbs despite the cold, the shock, and the tension.

If this puts you off – imagine – eventually, when you and your body realise there is no escape from the pain, and the numbness, you are forced to let go of it, relax. For me – at that time – it was a physical manifestation of what I needed to do with my depression, a metaphorical proof of my strength… and empowering to feel like I alone was the one pushing myself forwards, with people swimming alongside me to safeguard that nothing dire could happen.

2 years ago I attempted to swim a 3.2 km in Langebaan and got badly stung by jellyfish – and I think that experience, along with the daily demands of life, prompted a pause in the exercise.

So, 4 years after I started swimming, I come back to Clifton, for the “Bosom Buddies” swim – many ladies gathered to shed their shirts and do a topless swim in order to raise funds for breast cancer. The event was documented, but only for those who took part. There are some beautiful, and private methods with which we aim to pay tribute to those we love, who we’ve lost to this disease. What struck me, above all else, was the safety everyone felt, the enthusiasm, and the strength from and love for all these women.

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Once, in finesse of fiddles, found I ecstasy in the flash of gold heels on the hard pavement. Now see I that warmth’s the very stuff of poesy. Oh God, make small the old, star-eaten blanket of the sky – so I may fold it round me and in comfort lie.

The Embankment

T.E. Hulme

Retrospective

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Above is a piece where I used glue as a base and poured coloured plaster of paris over it. The effect was kind of a globular marbling effect which I promptly fell in love with. Painting for me is an extension of sculpture, and I love to explore its limitations.

Communication / Death / Memento Mori

 

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memento mori
oil on canvas and paper (letters to a lover)
18×16 cm

When I was younger I used to look at people, older people, and evaluate with them as a benchmark, what I wanted to be. We are told to define ourselves against certain parameters; for example; ‘Thin’ or ‘fat’, or ‘successful’ or unsuccessful’… But are those things that are achievable in our day by day actions? If, when we get to the end of our lives, having defined ourselves by other standards, who are we?

Climbing / Texture / Music / Love

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Lessons in Solitude (2016)
Hessian, house paint, cardboard, string, twigs.
Contact for price.

I wanted my art to re-introduce texture into our internal (physical / mental ) environments.

My love for all these activities binds this practice together:

  • Music introduces texture into our environments – intentional texture… we take sound and re-mould it.
  • Our unintentional sounds of living (see John Cage’s anechoic chamber) are re-organised. The content exists but we re-shape it.
  • Climbing requires one to observe and to feel the surface texture of objects. I will often, even when not climbing, find myself exploring the grooves of rock surfaces. Are they smooth or rough? Have they slowly been eroded or are their edges sharp to the touch?

Plug & Play Sessions Volume iii – Review

I am an avid supporter of music within Cape Town – less so recently – but over the last 6 years that I’ve been in Cape Town, I have made many the effort to make it to local gigs -whether it hurt my pocket or not. Plug & Play sessions, however, is a free event for musicians by professionals in and around the industry that they occurs around every 4-6 weeks.

We all know that collaboration makes us stronger, and allows for cross-pollination of ideas – yet how does one achieve this? Plug & Play sessions, organised and hosted for free by Quicket at the minimalist and classy gallery Youngblood, is an innovative attempt to bridge the gap (there are too many puns here) between musicians, who can become isolated in their creative bubbles.

For example; the last time musicians met at Plug & Play sessions we had Hagar Graiser talk about ‘music industry citizenship’ and how musicians need to come up with methods together to create their own sense of community.

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A depiction of Hagar Graiser talking about music industry citizenship and complex problem-solving.

Mapumba (depicted in the first image) spoke on the importance of performance, and the rest of the evening consisted of a few featured bands; Fruit Vendor brought their own flavour, and Because Matt (see above on the right) sang about ‘judging people’. Martin Myers, founder of a non-profit called ‘Music Exchange’, which seeks to empower those in the music industry, spoke of how important it is to be professional, and pro-active.

Finally, some information on networking and social media was doled out by Music Exchange – One can create one’s own world, television show, or otherwise, on Instagram, Facebook, or Youtube. ‘Why have you not been doing this?’ Dylan Kohlstadt seems to ask through her repetition of social media’s importance…

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Notes taken while Dylan Kohlstadt spoke on building a media following.

‘We’re too busy playing music.’ Hanno (from Well Done Sun) asserts from the audience.

And we don’t doubt it – musicians – especially the serious ones – spend so much time in their private rooms practising that they tend to neglect the NB promotion side. For those floundering and grounded alike, Plug & play sessions poses a platform for musicians across genres – which reminds us – perhaps as South Africans we need to be supportive of the music industry as a whole in order to boost its viability in the long term: I recognised a few musicians from the previous session and hope it continues. Can Plug & Play sessions help us to build a sense of ‘citizenship’ within and across our communities? Keep an eye on the Quicket facebook page for future events!

Were you at the event? What was your spin on it? What would you have done better if it were up to you? What did you think of this short review?

Please contact me at charlie.cmart@gmail.com if you would like me to sketch a band or event.

Continue reading “Plug & Play Sessions Volume iii – Review”

Hey it’s Charlie

Hello world!

This is my first obligatory post for my new blog.

A little bit about me and what I want this to be:

I love processes, I also love being outdoors, and conversation (my recent personality test revealed that I’m a ‘debater’). I thrive on engagement. I’m hoping that this blog can provide a base for insight – from others into my art – for myself into the world.

This is scary – I usually do this while reading, quietly, trying not to offend others… but I’ve realised recently that this allows me to hang onto my thoughts – whether they are flawed or not – it has allowed me to build a shell within which I can keep the same, stagnant ideas. This is an attempt to be more in flux, less solid.

The main things I will be posting will be art and music related, and possible bullet-journal related. Well – probably – it is my favourite method of keeping track of things.

So – if you are reading this – welcome – and I hope you enjoy!

Lots of Love

Charlie