Johann Wessels
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rusting gently

Posted: Dec 12, 2011

rusting gently

I tell a story when I make my stuff. It has become my history told in metaphors to the people in this country I was not born in. It's the lot or inheritance as a deracinated body. I feel like an archeologist digging up my layers of memories and explaining them. At times I tell a story and wonder how much is still true and how much has accumulated with each retelling to keep it fresh and entertaining.

The opening doors and panels are my schtick. It refers to the opening of a box from which the shreds of history are lifted and how they are often hidden from view. I like to see them as a kind of surprising magical trick, a sleazy side show trickster calling voyeurs to come and enjoy the peep show. Sometimes the stories are heartfelt and true...all of it. There are relics of importance among the schlock that I have schlepped across the sea. Already there might be someone who wonders where the Yiddish comes from. Shyster I may be.

My father often had a camera in his hand. I hated having to pose for it, but realise that my life was documented through the constant click of its shutter. I have a trove of visual memories, some even my own. I am working toward a group exhibition in April. I have a few works planned out in my head and my sketchbook journal. My friend Don Munro is kindly building me magical boxes with hinges that do clever things and will suffer my brush and paints before they hang on a gallery wall.

Hoarknockle is nursing a gouty foot and it is my responsibility to take the hounds for some air along the lakeshore.