So, so, so excited and happy to (pre)announce this.
Curator Jacki Lang and I are putting together a charity art show inspired by The Shining Girls with all proceeds going to Rape Crisis. The exhibition will run from 6-11 September in collaboration with the Open Book Festival in Cape Town’s fringe district.
We’re approaching a bunch of amazing South African artists, illustrators, street artists, photographers and designers to make an affordable original art work by customising a page ripped from the novel in whatever way they like.
We’re still finalising our contributors list, which is why this isn’t the official announcement, but I can confirm that Conrad Botes, Kudzanai Chiurai, Faith47, Joey Hi-Fi and DALEast are among the people who have already said yes!
We’ll be sending out a press release as soon as we’ve got everyone locked down. For more information, email Jacki Lang.
Here’s a little history on where this came from.
I love art and it often appears in my novels, from Moxyland’s bio-art monstrosity Woof ‘n’ Tweet to the art that hints at themes in the book mentioned in Zoo City, which I blogged about for Warren Ellis.
Over the last few years, I’ve found a way to do cool collaborations with artists somehow inspired by my books to raise money for good causes and show off shit-hot local talent.
When Zoo City was released in in 2010, African Dope put together an official soundtrack, but I also approached Am I Collective to get hold of five of their blank vinyl toy bares and asked six local artists to customise them any way they liked, as long as it was somehow inspired by the novel. The Zoo City Bares were auctioned off on BidorBuy and raised R18 000 for Hillbrow refugee kids NGO The Suitcase Project.
When Zoo City won the Arthur C Clarke Award, I was wearing a bespoke sloth scarf made by my friend Rhoda Rutherford, in imitation of Zinzi December’s sloth aposymbiote companion in the novel. Rhoda kindly made up another one that we raffled off to raise R4000 for the incredibly inspiring offender rehabilitation organisation, Khulisa, who also had their members come and read the prison diaries chapters at the Zoo City celebration tour. (Watch the moving video of that here)
But it really all started with Moxyland (which also has its own official African Dope soundtrack). The cover of the original first edition from Jacana featured a wonderfully cute and creepy monster designed by Joey Hi-Fi and made up by Michelle Son. I immediately coveted one and my brilliant author friend Sarah Lotz and her mom took that a step further. They set up a women’s co-operative in the rural town of Montagu, equipped them with sewing machines and so the Montagu Sew & Sews was born and we raised R12 000 for them selling limited edition Moxy monster toys.