Long Street, Cape Town
Artist: Ché Finch
Medium: Stoneware, glazes, stains & xxides
© Ché Finch
Long Street, Cape Town is Ché Finch's response to a stunning Victorian balcony with decades of vibrantly coloured paint peeling from a segment of a vertical wooden post.
"The subliminal is always present; the balcony reminded me of visits to Bo-Kaap on Signal Hill in Cape Town in the mid - 1970's during Apartheid, South Africa. The colours of the Victorian balcony on Long Street, Cape Town echoed the multi-coloured houses in Bo-Kaap and my subconscious traversed the decades back to when I was eight years old. I loved my visits to Bo-Kaap. Places are imbued with their inhabitants; I would instinctively relax when I visited. My brother and I would visit and stay with my parents best friend Chalky whenever he was in South Afrika in a little terrace cottage. Uncle Chalky was present in such an amazing way, you knew he was in the house even when he was sleeping. I loved these visits with my brother (Chalky and his partner Penny were childless and loved us).
Chalky had an extensive Texan boot collection and played the guitar in a way that embraced the universe; calm and satiated by the still of night. My love of open fires and camping were as much about him playing the guitar as it was about nature. They would both feed us Asterix and Obelix books. I learnt about history, satire, politics, warfar, fear, comedy from these comic books; they were brilliant. My brother would immerse ourselves in the stories; later mimicking scenes to each other and laughing till it hurt. Chalky and Penny in the background letting us be.
Chalky worked in the Persian Gulf and I'm guessing chose to stay in Bo-Kaap because he preferred it. Both my parents were racists; it breaks my heart to look at that. But Chalky wasn't, very clearly so and thank goodness he expanded my world from white suburbia to a small parcel of Cape Town where I felt at home, truly accepted and loved. Interventions of grace are so profound. We seek the light that is enlightenment. Love and acceptance of our fellow man. Thank goodness for Bo-Kaap.
Need to mention ethnic diversity and Muslim aspect.