Peter Clarke (1929 - )
Jackson Pollock: A Fable

mixed media
50 x 35cm

His mind was gripped when he first heard about how beautiful the flowering
Namaqualand landscape looked in the spring with all those bursts & splurges
of colour for as far as the eye could see. All that & the description, of the
road to Namibia just going on & on & on, up gradual rises all the way to the top & then
reaching there you see the road going on & on mile after mile & this repeated with
monotonous regularity with seemingly no end in sight, gradually up then down
& then up & then down. It gave him an idea.
He arrived in Cape Town, South Africa with masses of cans of paint, some of which,
at the start of the journey to the North, he punctured. The dripping began. Now
if you travel to Namibia the road is one long abstract expressionist drip painting.
Pollock did it all on his own. He'll tell you, "Oh, yes, it was a challenge. I
didn't rush myself. I took my time. But it was hell, really, because I had to walk
backwards all the way & so couldn't see if I had another thousand miles to go or
whether it was six thousand miles instead of five thousand.
Also, painting a road this long is one hell of a way to go. It's great for develop-
ing one's forearms, though, but fucking tough on one's back & calves."

2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.