Photo Credit © Kenneth Alexander
In the beginning – A super continent five hundred and fifty million years ago
A Neoproterozoic era breaking up in Jurassic times one hundred and eighty eons ago – A landmass baptised Gondwanaland by Eduard Suess from Sanskrit for
‘Forest of the Gonds, as Gwondwana and Laurasia formed the Pangea
Supercontinent, breaking up in mid-Jurassic opening the Central Atlantic.
ALKEBULAN – Ancient mother of mankind, Africa. Blessed with tropical rainforests
As in the Congo Basin, tall and dense thirty meters high rising to the sky – The
Mighty Atlas Mountains towering over three thousand kilometres. They say life
begins where water flows. It sparks civilisations. It sustains nations. Fauna and Flora
exist on its aura from the Nile Congo Niger Zambezi Senegal Limpopo and Orange
spurting many tributaries – Each one with a distinct character impact and legacy…
Scramble for Africa – Columbus initiating the beginning of a humanitarian slavery
Annihilation inspiring the extraction kidnapping shaming dehumanisation deletion
Declassification and demonisation of about ten million Africans who survived the
Dreaded ‘Middle Passage’ – Disembarking in North America the Caribbean and
South America out of twelve million between 1525 and 1866 from Central and
Western Africa even in coastal raids by the Portuguese hungry for humans!
In a handbill advertising a slave auction in Charleston South Carolina 1769 it reads:
‘’To be sold, a cargo of ninety-four Prime, healthy negroes, consisting of thirty-nine men, fifteen boys, twenty-four women and sixteen girls JUST ARRIVEDin the Brigantine Dembia”
Children born to slave mothers were also slaves, becoming the property of owners –
PARTUS SEQUITUR VENTREM – Sold at markets with other goods and services
Four hundred years! Eternal inherited tears scars shredded hearts dimming of stars!
‘Bitter Fruit’ – Packed canned like fish. Chained mocked maimed deleted squashed
spat out chewed drained hanged heinously disrespected – May the whispers of our
paleoanthropological ancestor ‘Mrs Ples’ found in Maropeng South Africa heal and soothe their lament and eternal languishing continuing wounds.
May you find peace
eternal your memories our consciousness consequential and existential…
© Don Beukes
Who is Kenneth Alexander aka The Artist from Athlone?
RESUME / BIO OF: Kenneth Marshall Alexander
Also known as: The Artist In Athlone Kenneth M Alexander – Author, Artist & Activist
Place of work:
Art In Athlone
Learn more about him & what he’s passionate about: www.sahistory.org.za/people/kenneth-alexander
Kenneth Alexander is a visual artist who uses various media on canvas, wood or chipboard. In addition, he often uses mixed media – e.g., twigs, cardboard, empty tins, etc. – to create a 3D effect. He comes from a typical South African diverse historical background which encompasses an eclectic array of cultures, beliefs, and experiences.
He endeavours to bring understanding and insight into the distinctive cultures culminating in the melting pot which is South Africa. Thus, his art many times is a social comment on the history and politics of the country.
As Cape Town is the Mother City, she only puts forward the best parts of South Africa. Whether it be our beautiful mountains, an old stone cottage or a face covered in dirt- it is all part of him. And so, it is too, part of his art, thus his photography captures these images poignantly
Furthermore, Kenneth is the author of several books published under the name Kenneth M Alexander which showcase his life experience in Apartheid and post-Apartheid South Africa. His latest book – Man About Town – is his autobiography.
He launched his first 2 books – ‘Welcome to my World’ and ‘Pavement Special’ in April 2017. Since then, he published two new books viz. ‘A South African By-product’ and ‘#Just4You’.
Most of Kenneth’s art strongly reflects his architectural experience of the past 46 years. He was born and now in Athlone, a typical Coloured township on the sandy Cape Flats in Cape Town, South Africa. Thus, a lot of his paintings selected for this show and his books depict life and culture as experienced in Athlone, but also strongly speaks to the history of its people and their ability to rise above adversity and excel in their chosen career, whether painter, poet, author, musician.
Many of Kenneth’s commentary on social issues have been published in daily newspapers, such as the Cape Argus.
Who is Don Beukes?
Are you an artist who want to collaborate with me to write an Ekphrastic response to your artwork to be published in Glomag India?
Please send up to two jpegs of two artworks for consideration, as well as a Bio.
Thank you, I look forward to your Submissions.