“Love Imvelo” a new mural by Resoborg
Supported by RVCA, The Human Elephant Foundation, Shoppe, Brand Iron, Maza and Counter Culture.
Situated in the heart of Durban’s “design precinct” known as Station Drive, Wesley van Eeden aka Resoborg paints one of his largest and most detailed works to date, on the wall where Brand Iron and Maza are situated.On surface level, this new mural is a pretty image with smooth lines and happy colours, where Wesley attempts to replicate his digital illustration work by hand to add some colour to the creative hub. However, on a deeper level, this attempt at paint ‘control’ is metaphorical to the things that he can’t control or understand in human existence and acts as a spiritual exercise during the production of the mural.
“Imvelo” is the Zulu word for the environment, and this artwork has a subtle message of encouraging a love for the environment, where technology is currently holding the populace’s attention span. The mural includes pattern work that is inspired by local African patterns found in textiles and there are icons such as the Protea and Flamingo, which represent products that can be purchased at Shoppe in Station Drive – one of the funders for the project and situated just up the road from the new mural.
The pattern represents balance and harmony with nature and acts as an encouragement for deeper interaction and respect for the natural world. The Human Elephant Foundation who were also part funders for this mural, are a visionary and collaborative organisation, who initiate and facilitate discussion and innovative problem-solving, to create a better, respectful and sustainable world.
Wesley’s hope for the mural is that the artwork appeals to both kids and adults alike and encourages and inspires a connection with nature. RVCA often use the term “balance of opposites” and a lot of the pattern in this mural visually plays with the idea of balance and mirroring, to further accentuate the message of a balanced environment.
You don’t know my story but I hope this inspires you..I’ll share just a “little” bit.
It was great to return to my old university to do a mural for Digfest recently. Students were friendly and the vibe was awesome.
It was great to walk around the campus and see how much has changed. The tuck shop is truly awesome..the bunny chows are just insane!
No one really knows how I got my artist career started so here goes nothing. I didn’t make it into the first year program because my drawing was not good enough. The secretary at the time at the design campus literally LAUGHED at my drawing “portfolio”. I didn’t go to a school that even had art as a subject and my technical drawing teacher hardly even came to lessons…I could go on. One day after school I was attacked by a fellow student with a screwdriver and for a 17 year old who was not good at anything this was pretty brutal (being laughed at – the screwdriver thing is pretty normal where I grew up) What followed was a year of private art classes (not as high brow as you think..an old granny who lived in the hills bless her soul) and a year long kak (Afrikaans for crap) job working at a screen printing company. The only thing that got me into “art” was Ghost In The Shell (Anime) and skateboarding graphics. I had no mentors, no heroes only my skateboard and friends. No nothing. Inspiration was hard to find.
A year later I then applied again to enter the design program and guess what I was number 41 on the entrance list! Only 40 students were allowed into the class (not 100% sure on the amount here). So I didn’t make it in again! I am a looser baby. Luckily my Dad phoned the professor and they promised they’d let me know if one of the other students would bail and choose a different course. Luckily someone did and I got in. Happiness. Luckily my Dad could then stop panicking about his hopeless son who was pretty useless at pretty much everything. I am still thankful to this day that my Dad picked up the phone to make it happen.
Bottom line here is that it takes a lifetime of struggle to become a successful creative. The general population is not aware of this and they’ll take as much as they can from you. People are going to laugh at you, put you down and yes you’ll be taken advantage of time and time again. Remember this: If you make music, if you make art if you make anything creative – you have value just like the rest of society. Don’t let anyone sweet talk you into compromising which is important in life: Integrity is key. Humbleness is key. Positivity is key. Passion is key. Focus is key. Dedication is key. Doing what you love is key. Keeping at it is key.
At the end of it the BIGGEST key is to give back to your community – I am working on all of this and I to want to make this city a better place. I don’t want to move to New York, London, San Francisco, Hong Kong or some cool city that you pinned on Pinterest.
Thank you to everyone who TRULY supports artists in this city. Thanks to Steve Jones and Digifest for making it happen.
Resoborg was recently chosen by Blackberry in Canada as the overall winner for the South African emoticon illustration competition! Out of 86 submissions from illustrators across South Africa the mobile company felt we were the overall winner for illustrating the best emoticons illustrating South African slang words. See more here!
What’s up 2016? I got an interview on Design Indaba and talk about illustration, design, painting and skateboarding. Check it out here.