WORDS Cheri Morris IMAGES AND VIDEO Jason Ryan Simmons
Durban-based artist Wesley van Eeden, aka Resoborg, recently completed his latest mural, Sonner’s Sonnet, in a small American countryside town.
This distinctly Resoborg large-scale art piece forms part of Staufferstadt Art, a local non-profit artist programme in Strasburg, Virginia that seeks to enliven the local community through artistic revitalisation. The programme sees artists from across the globe commissioned to create thought-provoking pieces that will ultimately turn the sleepy town into a motivating and uplifting gallery.
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Resoborg’s Sonner’s Sonnet tells the story of Strasburg. Known as “Pot Town” in the 1800s, Strasburg once boasted a large cottage ceramics industry and to this day still offers many an antique store filled with ceramic pots of all shapes and sizes.
In a desperate attempt to keep up with the subsequent boom in glass trade, potters began offering customisable pots that were unglazed. Resoborg’s mural depicts an abstract portrait of one of the many local potters that offered this service all those years ago, John Henry Sonner. The naked pot backed by colourful slices of pastel geometry serves as a metaphor for the little town and its impending potential as an unmarked canvas.
The curves on the pot represent the “Seven Bends” of the Shenandoah River that traverses Strasburg. As the everlasting flow of water shaped the unique turns over millennia, the bends on the pot in the mural intend to inspire fortitude and determination in locals to transcend adverse circumstances and to construct a meaningful life in both their town and the greater community.
See more of Resoborg’s work at resoborg.com.