I studied Social Entrepreneurship at the Gordon Institute for Business Science (GIBS) on A Rand Merchant Grant in 2013. The course supplies state-of-the-art academic content all aimed at progressive ecological and social change. I apply this new knowledge to contribute to the sustainability to all future assignments.
How do I find opportunities in public art that unlocks social systems under pressure?
My interest has always been to be part of something wider than just the art scene. I want my art to be more relevant and speak to people who might not normally go into a gallery. Art functions as a layer in society which creates ‘warmth’ in public spaces (Joseph Beuys). This is a great visual communications tool to bring attention to ecological infrastructure problems and social change.
I used an emergent approach, whilst working on a public mural. Instead of putting music in my ears, I listened to surrounding conversations. This was the first lesson I learnt from Nomvula Dlamini’s SECP class. By really listening one uncovers leverage points which would have gone unnoticed. This year’s academic exposure gave me a lot to consider. I used this new knowledge to help me refine my practise as a public visual artist and to create artworks with a wider reach or a deeper impact.
I have developed a new methodology through this ALP summed up in the video – a methodology that I have always aspired to, but did not know how to reach. I developed a two tier approach to use public art as a social change medium. In my Theory of Change in the first tier I work on an artwork in a chosen community to attract curious people and uncover social issues which needs to change. This tier can be participatory if need be, it builds trust and gives a purpose to my presence. Then I form strategic partnerships with innovative development individuals and technologies in the second tier, and I use these technologies as a medium to make public art. Public art thus becomes functional in the economic system integrating other sectors.
View the african fractals theory which inspired this work here