Art and Design

Exploring Art and Defining Design

Doodling our Hours Away

Patterns, November, 1984, Rundu, Kavangoland, SADF, Military

Recently, as I was scratching through a box of drawings I did many years ago during my two years continuous service in the South African Defense Force, I came across a file of ‘doodles’. We were conscripted to to a total of 4 obligatory years, and for those among us who were not particularly military or politically-minded, we just wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible.

Up on the Angolan/ South West African (Namibian) Border, we had many hours with nothing to do but to dream and imagine our futures back on ‘civvy-street’ and long for all those we loved back home. Locked away in these sandy military bases and surrounded by sandbagged walls that were in many ways similar to being in a prison – I spent many hours drawing in an attempt to kill off hours and to stay sane. Many of the drawings I returned with are not drawings in the conventional sense – but more akin to ‘doodling’ – the uncontrollable swirling and tapping of a pen on paper.

These are several of the many doodles I did. I think you can gauge something of the monotony, loneliness and tedium from these images. I was 18 years old at the time and some them capture the naivety of youth. They speak louder than do the figurative drawings I did in those two years.

Graham Leslie McCallum

'Killing Time, 20 June 1985, Opuwo Base, Kaokoland, SADF, Military 111Untitled, 19 June 1985, SADF, Military

Untitled, 20 June 1985, Opuwo, Kaokoland, SADF, Military'Making Time Pass' 20 June 1985, Opuwo, Kaokoland, SADF, Military

SADF, Military'How many days left to go' 17 May 1985, Opuwo, Kaokoveld, SADF, Military 115

'Death of a Fly' Eyuva Base, SADF, Military Cover to my army writing pad, rrovided by SADF, Military 122

Untitled, SADF, Military, 1985 Untitled, 1985,SADF, Military

Untitled, SADF, Military 1985 Untitled, 1984, SADF, Military

Untitled, 1985, SADF, Military 'What might not be Seen is sometimes Heard' 18 December 1984, Rundu, Kavangoland, Military

Untitled, 1985, SADF, Military t Untitled, 1984, SADF, Military n

Untitled, SADF, Military, 1985 Untitled, 1985, SADF, Military b

Untitled, 1985, SADF, Military q Untitled, 1985, SADF, Military n

Keyholes, 1985, SADF, Military Untitled, 2 August 1985, Potchefstroom, 3SAI, SADF, Military

A ballpoint pen and wash study of an unknown tree's fruiting bodies, Rundu, kavangoland, 7 December 1984, SADF, Military Ode to an Inkpot, 11 January 1985, SADF, Military

'A world in a day', 11 April 1985, SADF, Military Untitled, 1985, SADF, Military m

For everything there is a Season, Opuwo, Kaokoland, 4 May 1985, SADF, Military My studio, Opuwo, 26 May 1985, SADF, Military


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on October 24, 2013 by in Doodling, Drawing and tagged , , , , .


%d bloggers like this: