I wrote an adaptation, which became a one person piece called ‘Story of an African Chicken’ - which I also directed. At night I'd be doing the Bring me Gandhi show, and by day, actor Jonathan Pienaar and I, would be rehearsing the new piece.
I didn't really think about the weirdness of creating a sweet, family-oriented play, right after doing 'Bring Me Gandhi' - something which had caused some outrage and scandal for its violence and brutality.
With hindsight, I can see this jockeying back and forth between extremist material and mainstream gentleness, clearly emerging in my work. Why? I don't know. Ask a psychologist.
I took my tiny line drawings to a print
store, and blew them up painstakingly, and did much cutting and pasting, to make
The circular face began to morph into another motif which I would use often in future - a simple circle to represent (I guess) either the Sun or the Moon.
Unfortunately in this battered copy, one isn’t seeing the clear empty elegance of the poster as it should be.
The main focus of the poster - that silhouetted chicken on a hill with barbed wire at its base - came from a tiny drawing I did, approximately an inch across.
I didn't know too much about what I was doing, or why. I was just creating 'stuff' that pleased me, and doing my best to ensure it was presented in a way that felt right.
Note the almost invisible signature (’i.f’) below the barbed wire on the right.
I think (again with the hindsight) I’d realized that whatever else I was doing, amidst the play writing, performing, directing and hiding-from-police frenzy that was my life at this point under Apartheid, in my own way, I was also making something approaching 'Art.'
I never bothered to talk about it. Who had the time? There was too much fun and mischief to get up to.