Shoko Festival, once a year and very different from the other festivals in Zimbabwe. This one focuses on words, weather slam jams, hip hop, conferences and workshops pushing for alternative ways of living (upcycling etc.), comedy night, street art etc. Good.
What was a bit unfortunate was that the festival happened the same WE as 4 other events, and the public was much less than expected.
But hey, got an entry as an artist so I was happy. The initial discussion, literally 2 weeks ago happened this way:
"hey, do you also do some form of art at Shoko?"
"Yes, we'll write and spray paint on a wall in Chitungwiza".
" Would you be interested in having something during the festival?"
" Yes, cool."
" Can I just, euh, do some quick sketches of people?"
" ... that when added make another picture?"
" Sounds cool".
Then I received my badge as an artist in the festival. A first. Been a VIP, been a backstage banded guy, even managed a press band once, but this is a first as an artist. coolio.
So, I found a piece of wood that could fit in my car (2.2*1.2 m), build my stencils, sprayed my background, wrote my words and painted the face.
Then I took my Black & Decker (c) jigsaw - a tool most useful to make small stuffs, such as shields and swords for the kids, or cut bamboo.
Armed with the saw, I cut the board in 36 +/- equal pieces. It was bloody. The board did not like it. Not one little bit. It eventually gave some characters.
With my boards, looking like Moses coming down his mountain with the tables, I headed towards Shoko.
Then I had to start socializing and asking people I did not know if I could take 5 minutes of their time to quickly draw their faces.
I was rather surprized not facing more refusals. People wer generally happy about it, bringing mates and taking pictures. I had a great day, I met a whole bunch of people, drummers, poets, artisans, beer artists, passionates, travellers, and even Miss Zimbabwe.
Here are the 36 portraits, made with uni-posca on each boards.
Straight paint on paint, no erasing, and no shading + colourfull background... It was tricky and definitively a first for me.
I also learned that the Montana pink is getting powdery when dry and cloak up paint markers.
Sometimes I felt like I nailed my model in only one sets of lines and colours, and some other times I had to use different colours, just to be able to see something.
It also did happen that I just could not get it right enough.
Obviousely because the person was moving, talking, asking questions, chatting to his/her friend, etc. I have to blame the world.
I really had a good day.
Slowly during the day I re-assembled them.
To resume, I had a piece of wood, gave it some shades and colours, wrote words of infinite wisdom, sprayed a face on it. Then I washappy. So I chopped the whole thing and used each board to draw a quick face of 36 strangers. I likedthe changes, the dynamism of the work and the different speeds, states of mind and energy needed to work on it.
Now I have no idea what to do with my 36 plaquettes.