Isabel Rock (Printmaking, 2013)Ladybird Jungle

Isabel Rock

Fellow in 2013 for Printmaking

I used some of the Art Foundation money to go on a trip to Senegal in West Africa. I drew two large pictures and wrote a story about them. The trip has inspired a whole new body of work about blue bananas, goblins and magic trees….

St Louis, Senegal, West Africa.

The dust is thick on a million empty bottles of booze. Sambuca, Martini, Vodka, wine, gin, more Sambuca: The party of a lifetime, an epic binge. The house was originally a nunnery, or a ‘Cluny’ in French. The spiral staircase is magical, like the stairway to the Pearly Gates of Heaven. It feels like a magic house. I explore the rooms, each one faded shades of blue, green or pink. A room full of broom handles, a room of pasta sauce jars, a room of dust, a room of broken chairs, full to the ceiling.
In one room, three yellow giants. I sit in the palm of a hand. I am a speck of humanity, an ant. They are blind drunk. The palm trees on their heads sway dangerously. They call me ‘Tiny Eyes’ and give me Sambuca to drink.
My ears are filled with a clacking, like rain but sharper.
As I look up into the palm trees I realize they are filled with busy men, typing at old typewriters, they wear egg boxes on their heads like helmets.
‘What are you doing?’ I call up to them.
‘We are busy men, we have no time to talk to you. There is important business to be done.’
‘What is your business?’ I ask.
They do not reply, they just type faster and shake their egg box helmets in annoyance.

I ask the yellow giant who holds me in his hand, ‘what are the busy men doing?’ His great big eyes spin and he twirls his moustache at me. ‘Tiny Eyes, so many questions……..’