Shapeshifters comprises two large-scale canvases that privilege scorned urban space and are essentially a diptych about transformation. They take as reference a series of photographs I took documenting changes over time in a Braamfontein alleyway adjacent an apartment where I lived 2008-2010. Braamfontein, which intersects with the ‘cultural arc’ of Johannesburg, has since become a node of culture-led regeneration but was at the time in hiatus. These paintings give form to new territory in scale and subject matter. Their format was a deliberate strategy to invoke creative response at a difficult time.
Images of Shapeshifters are included in Rogue Urbanism by Edgar Pieterse and AbdouMaliq Simone, published July 2013, with a narrative text Abracadabra and statement I wrote about these works.
Shapeshifters I was exhibited on ‘Fresh’ at Everard Read, Cape Town (2011). Shapeshifters II in 2012/3 finally finished the very extended conversation we were having about a red door.