Exploring Art and Defining Design
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