Hung and Drawnby Andy Davis, images by JR Onyangunga / 16.12.2009
2009 has been a bumpy ride down a rough road… We’ve had it tough and we’ve needed to cut loose. Looking back over the detritus of the year’s best parties, strewn like a galaxy of broken promises, stolen moments, empty bottles and cigarette stompies, tossed trestle tables and broken chairs, across your tequila damaged psyche, one party seems to stand out as a concept that worked.
Night of a 1000 Drawings united Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town with a series of gigs that brought together the worlds of art, music and wanton hedonism – and the whole thing was for charity. A heady cocktail of creatives grooving on the spirit. Which is not a bad cause to get loose for, in a year dominated by a global economic meltdown, a local recession, and all our social spending being sunk into building stadiums instead of houses and hospitals…
The final instalment of Night of a 1000 Drawings took place at the Grand Concourse of Jozi’s old Park Station. Now derelict and forgotten hidden behind the new Park Station, replete with vaulted ceilings, insane mosaics and that old colonial touch. It’s a bit of a waste really just crying out for re-development. Like a cultural beacon flashing in the night, the event brought people flooding back to a new corner of the city centre at night. Much to the amusement and spectacle of the regular street urchins.
So basically the organisers had collected over 2500 original illustrated artworks from anyone who felt like contributing, but including most of Jozi’s illustrative geniuses from the likes of Lorcan White (Anton Kannemeyer’s older boet) to Mahala’s in-house illustrative freak Jason Bronkhorst. Then they hang em up on pegs and you can buy them for R100 bucks each. Which is not bad, especially if you know what you’re looking for. On top of that they had a series of doodles and main events in Durban and Cape Town before the big show down in Joburg. Which all points to some serious organisational planning. On the final night they managed to sell over 800 artworks, which means that just by getting loose and picking up some under-priced art, they managed to hand over almost a hundred thousand Rand to Paballo Ya Batho and Princesss Alice Adoption home. From just one night’s jol. Further proof that just as Dr Pachanga often says, by chipping together, we do best!
Apart from all the cheap art, the hot chicks, the jelly-limbed hipsters bent on getting down and the reclaiming of a derelict and forgotten urban space, the gig boasted the original and authentic music talents of Rambling Bones, Tidal Waves and the Death Valley Blues Band. Alas the huge quadruple volume space and vaulted ceilings played havoc with the sound. Making the bands almost unlistenable unless you were standing directly in front of the speakers.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the evening was the “draw off” between a broad selection of Jozi’s illustrative underworld. They set up two overhead projectors and pitted two artists against each other and gave them a theme such as “monsters” or “aliens” or “clowns” and then they had 30 seconds to draw something appropriate on the transparency. Then the crowd, packed in like sardines, swilling beer and whiskey, would applaud the best drawing and that illustrator would go into the next round. By the end of the night, Mahala’s Jason Bronkhorst was the last man standing! Hey that’s just how we roll. Scooping accolades and free drinks along the way.
As the evening progressed towards debauchery Pachanga and co. roved the venue alternating between instigating and photographing the mayhem. As Tidal Waves set off another dub journey that was distorted and diffused by the lofty ceilings of the old train station, hipsters mingled, loose-units daubed paint on themselves, the musically-inclined gathered around the speakers and rode the rhythm. And everything was alright on the night of a 1000 drawings.