Friday, December 07, 2007

The origins of Orokie.

Etant adolescent, Orokie (qui est Ougandais) passait les vacances dans la région de sa mère, au Kenya, dans un bled au bord de la mer. Il s’asseyait souvent sous un arbre, avec des amis, et regardait au loin les amusements des garçons dans le sable et les vagues grondantes. « C’est sous cet arbre que je me rendis compte combien j’aimais être avec les garçons. » Il y a toujours une sorte de sensualité âcre, mais généralement inconsciente, ou non érotisée (sauf par accident), dans les jeux de garçons, surtout en liberté et sous le soleil. *
As a young man, Orokie (who is from Uganda) spent the holidays in Kenya: in a lakeside village close to his mother. Here, he would often sit under a tree, in the pleasant shade watching other males, realising how these brought warmth and pleasure to him. The early drawings of Orokie show longing and desire. They offer both a bitter sensuality and a sweet sensitivity. They reveal what many have known-- that sense of yearning and that haze in which friendship holds hands with love on sun-filled days, when liberty feels possible.
Pour un amoureux du sexe masculin comme Orokie, cette sensualité devient évidemment très perceptible, et il a décidé d’user des moyens à sa disposition pour l’analyser et l’exprimer. « J’ai grandi en dessinant (I was grown doing drawings) », m’écrit-il. « Sur mes manuels scolaires (j’ai été très souvent puni). Sur des bouts de vieux journaux. Sur mes cahiers scolaires (encore les punitions). Sur toutes les enveloppes usagées dans lesquelles des lettres nous avaient été envoyées…»
Orokie did not find art easy when he was young. Art does not provide food in Africa; it is hard to paint when water is rationed and paper is scarce; also, the nature of his drawings demanded secrecy and that meant little discussion about techniques. But he was a determined and passionate artist. He drew on envelopes, newspapers and school books. He mixed paints with tea and saliva. Finger nails and feathers became brushes. Orokie was determined to grow through his drawings and become himself.
*This is part of a detailed essay by Camelopardalus.

2 comments:

Sirron said...

Several years ago we used to chat. And you created some beautiful drawings for me. I have those hanging in my home now.

I am very glad to find this blog, and I will follow it closely.

your friend.

Sirron

Afriboy said...

Greetings, Sirron, I have only just seen your comment. It is sweet to know my works still give you pleasure. Be well.