It’s been a while since I had an interview that kept me awake at night – but after spending a few hours with Majak Bredell I simply couldn’t sleep.
It was a mixture of things really. As interviews go, it was alright, but not great. I had both under and over prepared for my time with her. Getting the right information before the interview and getting the rest from the interview can be a tricky balance sometimes. This is especially true when I find the person I’m interviewing inspiring, intriguing and very, very smart. Majak is all of those things, and more.
It’s such a privilege to get to spend time with fascinating people and ‘have permission’ to ask them questions about their work and their life.
I was nervous as anything before my interview. I felt like a first year student trying to write my first profile. I wanted to appear informed and insightful. I wanted her to think I was smart too and not embarrass myself by asking lame or mundane questions. I wanted to know more about Majak and her work. And, in what I believe is some of the beauty of art, learn more about myself and the world through my discussion with her.
This got me thinking about the interview process and why I love what I do. It’s such a privilege to get to spend time with fascinating people and ‘have permission’ to ask them questions about their work and their life. Great artists, thinkers and writers aren’t just like you and me. And at the same time, they are. That dynamic is fascinating and to me,speaks to the heart of the creative and intellectual process. I'm so lucky to be able to explore it a little bit in my work. And to explore it with people like Majak.
During the interview, things got better after about half an hour. My confidence grew with her generosity. Of course, the next challenge was to try to represent some of ‘that’ through my writing. My article for Lowveld Living (which came out in February) was tricky to put together – what to leave out, what to include and how to keep the word count down to something manageable.
I wish I’d had a few more days to think through the structure of the piece, let the draft settle and then rework it. I wish it (and all my writing) had a fraction of the truth and beauty and honesty that Majak attains in her work and speaks through her words. I wish it was a brave as she is, as confident, as intelligent and as witty.
What a privilege to have met her, talked with her and left her cobalt blue home (with views into forever) with a fresh appreciation for my job, a new pride in the term feminist, a whole bunch of exciting ideas about how art and artists make the world we live in that much more real. And a bag of delicious litchis picked from a tree in her garden.
Note that Majak is one of a group of artists exhibiting at The White River Gallery at the Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre from 9 to 30 August 2012.
Category: Arts & Entertainment