A Road You Walk

by | Aug 31, 2019

Where & when did it start?

A love for art, creativity and the practice of creating art is something that hunts you down and holds you steadfast in an invisible but undeniably tight grip.

It was my favourite subject at school. Interior Design however, is what I really wanted to study and practice.

Unfortunately learning institutions might offer the subjects to become an artist or a designer, but in that course, do not offer the subjects to teach you how to make a successful business of your skills and newly acquired qualification. Maybe the institutions want you to pay for two courses and keep you from the job market until you are well past your prime childbearing age [if you are a woman with such a wish of course]? A lack of confidence as a result of the gap in the education never made me feel like I was equipped to become an entrepreneur and start my own design company.

After working for a number of employers, getting married and starting a family, I was a ‘stay-at-home-mom’. Life happened. The ‘stay-at-home-mom’ soon became the ‘go-for’. Sent from pillar to post; go for this, go for that. No official employment. No career. O, no, everything else became the ‘career’. There was a career. Actually, there was several careers. I was a mom with the careers of a domestic worker, a cook, a driver, a garden service, a pool maintenance service, and a life coach – after hours. During business hours – and those were entertainment business hours – I had a couple more careers to add to the CV.

There was the restaurant manager, the marketing manager and the stock controller. Emergency casual work came in the form of a cleaner, a scullery or perhaps a bar lady [when the staff absconded, was sick or on strike], the official water carrier, glass washer and toilet flusher [when there was no water in a packed restaurant on an end of the month Friday night] or whichever gap that needed filling. Years past. The pay? What pay? Surely those careers added together should be worthy of hundreds of thousands of rands every year? No?! The up side? I had board and lodge, occasional new clothes when the kids’ needs had been filled and there was spare change, a cellphone and a company car.

Art? No, there was no time for art. Yet, the art just slumbered. It never died although it felt like it. It just hibernated.

Just Be

by Anna Liebenberg 

An image created for the group exhibition ‘Unbearable’ held at Trent Gallery in August 2019 – inspired by the movie ‘Unbearable Lightness of Being’

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