Who says art can't be used to help make a difference in people's lives?
I've heard people say otherwise in the past, but The Night of 1000 Drawings aims to prove them wrong, donating whatever they make to charities when they sell off this strange collection of Joburger-submitted doodles.
The four charities this year were Paballo ya Batho
, the original beneficiary for 1000Drawings; Outreach Foundation (an inner city program for kids in Hillbrow); Mmabana
; and Intuthuko Embroideries
, who've been left a bit worse for wear after the Rosebank Rooftop Market was abruptly discontinued without notice earlier this year.
Art vs. Scene
As always, these events are half charity event, half scene party, so the space played home to hipsters, paint fumes, portraits (obviously), a few questionable drawings, and dozens of marker-smeared arms. For a few hours, the Sci-Bono was transformed into an inner city concrete and metal fallout shelter for 2000 illustrations and, if you dropped a bomb on it, you'd have wiped out most of the culture and pretentiousness in Joburg.
The nice thing about art, by the way, is that you don't have to talk to it. Crowds still put me in an 'I want to kill everyone' mood, and that was especially the case on the cramped second floor - a corridor that had been converted into a gallery. Thankfully, I found some chalk in one of the drawing rooms and sketched out a T-Rex in All Stars to help distract from the scene.
Outside, seven graffiti artists spat colour at giant canvases, swarmed by onlookers - an impenetrable wave of bodies to anyone uncomfortable around seas of people.
By the end of the night, so many people had added to it that our T-Rex had turned psychedelic. It reminded me how wrong people can be when they say art can't make a difference. Besides all the money that was off to those charities, I'd say my T-Rex says otherwise.
Where? Miriam Makeba Street & President Street, Johannesburg
by Frances Frylinck