Prayer to the young moon

Prayer to the Young Moon is a drawing performance that was created in response to a composition by composer Franco Prinsloo. The composition, in turn, is a setting of the poem by !nanni which was recorded in the famous Lloyd and Bleek notebooks. The work is thus re-interpreted and re-imagined not only across artistic disciplines but also across time and space to when !nanni’s drawings were documented by Lucy Lloyd between 1879 – 1882. !nanni unknowingly becomes an important informer to this work, specifically influencing the performative element of the drawing: where !nanni is able to draw imagery sourced from innate memory of the local fauna and flora and folklore of the !kun, I am drawing imagery sourced from a position of innate embodiment. Through deep-listening I am re-translating the composition by way of my body and outputting these sounds through automated gesture in a very primal way through the direct use of my hands. Approaching the drawing performance with sincere humility, the wings point toward the inherent and deep embodied spirituality of !nanni’s people known as the |kam-ssin !ku or 'Sun' Bushmen. The drawing surface consists of two distinct halves which my body continuously interprets as such. And, although visually divided, the work is eventually re-conjoined into one piece visually. This speaks to the healing power of the creative arts in reconciling what has been broken. Therefore, as much as the prayers to the Young Moon may have been a means of asking where to find food, my drawing performance of prayer to the moon is the asking of forgiveness for the intergenerational trauma caused by colonisation.

 

The narration is by South Africa activist Diana Ferrus.