Wesley van Eeden

ARTIST STATEMENT / SYNOPSIS OF WORK

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 - Finalist Biography

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.