Inspired by the theme, I wanted to push
my artistic practice in a new direction. Looking at the theme “Route” and what
the taxi stands for as a service, I was inspired by the patterns that a map
creates, and the construction and creation process of a map. Google maps was my
entry point. I searched for “Johannesburg” and used this as my reference for
creating a map that morphs into imagery of a mother and child walking to a
spaza store; a boy kicking a ball; and an adult figure looking up to the sky.
All of these figures are interconnected through a map of the centre of
Johannesburg. I carefully replicated by hand the map. To the bottom left you’ll
see Main and Grey streets which leads past Knoppies West, and to the right of
the main figure Long road. I picked Johannesburg as it’s the hub of Africa and
a place where things “happen”. This resonates with how Taxi’s take you on a
route in your daily life to make things “happen”.
The artwork is about the routes we are
able to take with a taxi. More importantly it is about the routes that we take
which are filled with people. These
taxi’s enable mobilisation, dreams and social interaction. The main figure is
looking up towards the sky which represents his hopes, dreams and aspirations
for a better future.
Wesley van Eeden is an artist,
illustrator and muralist based in Durban, South Africa. Inspired by street art
and the African experience his work aims to capture contemporary South African
life with a positive mindset. He has exhibited in galleries locally and
internationally and was selected to attend an artist residency in Finland in
2011. In 2015 he was commissioned by Queens College in New York city as
residency artist on campus to create a painting for their year of South Africa
program which is now part of their permanent collection.