Interconnectedness and Process in Cleone Cull’s Visual Art by Prof Bert Olivier
This paper is an interpretation of the recent work of the Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth artist, Cleone Cull, through what one may call a ‘close looking’ at the works in question (that would parallel ‘close reading’ of a literary text). Such a ‘looking’ yields an interpretive grasp of her works which has the primary impression of a ‘dynamic equilibrium’ as its point of departure, which further lends itself to being interpreted through what it itself suggests in the guise of visually and chromatically instantiated markers. The preponderant, pervasive visual motif running through these works is that of interconnectedness and process – a percept (perceptual counterpart of ‘concept’) which further lends itself to a number of mutually resonating interpretations, framed in terms of familiar theoretical complexes, such as alchemy, Tantra, Jungian depth psychology and Zen Buddhism. But the most persuasive, and accommodating, philosophical-theoretical matrix suggested by the visual features of Cull’s works is the philosophical ontology of Deleuze and Guattari, as articulated in Anti-Oedipus, which therefore comprises the major thread of this interpretive essay.
Key words: art, interconnectedness, process, alchemy, Cleone Cull, Deleuze, desiring-machines, Guattari, Jung, Tantra, Zen