Punk Rock to Punk Art

One of thing things I love about living in Johannesburg is that you are constantly turning corners and finding amazing, unexpected things.

One of these came to light a little while ago, but the full extent of it has only recently begun to emerge.

Way back inthe 80’s there was a punk band in JHB called Toxic Sox. Well, before that, there was The Septic Lozenges. One of the guys from the Lozenges went to the same school as me, so we followed their progress with keen (underage) eyes, unable to go to the gigs. They soon broke up and some of the memebers went on to become Toxic Sox, who I saw a couple of times at the legendary Alternative gigs that Barney Simon threw towards the end of the 80’s at the Thunderdone, Claim Street, JHB… Remember those?

Well, over the last couple of years, I have gotten to know one of the members quite well… Jon Pat Myers… read this for an awesome story!

Jon-Pat Myers, South African born stone sculptor has just returned from representing the country in Huian China. Huian is China’s stone carving capital and Jon-Pat was one of 20 foreign sculptors chosen from countries around the globe. Countries participating in this year’s event included Russia, USA, Taiwan, Lithuania, Georgia, Italy, Albania, Turkey, Germany, Bulgaria, Japan, South Africa and of course China with participants representing each province.

The objective of such an event is to bring Sculptors from all backgrounds together and to intensively work on a block of Granite in this case, for approximately two weeks. At the conclusion, Judges select the winning works and these may be displayed in public space, corporate complexes and so on at a later date. Sculptors are expected to not only work during working hours, but to also make presentations in the evenings to interested parties such as The Association of Architects or attend functions and meetings with Govt and local officials, business people and so forth.

Jon Pat has taken part in several international symposia previously including the Mexico-International symposium-Chiapas-(winner people’s choice award) in 2006, the International stone sculpture symposium-Maalot-Israel and Ras al ein forest gallery-Wood symposium in 2004 and finally the Stone in the Galilee International stone sculpture symposium in 2001.

Jon-Pat has lived abroad for many years and has exhibited his work in Israel, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, China and now having recently returned, here in South Africa, where he will be in the Randburg area whilst in Gauteng. He prefers to work mainly in Stone and Stainless Steel both large and small scale, but isn’t limited to any medium. He has produced works out of found objects, bicycles, bamboo, wood, polymer, cement, tyres and mud… yes… MUD!

Aside from his sculpture, Jon-Pat is also adept in a multitude of diverse disciplines. He has beena student of the Chinese Martial Art (Kung Fu) school of Xing Yi Chuan and is currently at instructor level. He is also still a keen skateboarder at age 45 and is the owner of what he describe as the “dubious title” of “World Champion Freestyle 2006” In the Masters category. Jon Pat also spent time on the Johannesburg music underground playing for punk bands such as The Septic Lozenges and Toxik Sox during the state of Emergency in the 80’s.

Jon Pat is now firmly back in South Africa and beginning to exhibit and sell his stone work while continuing to pursue his musical and martial interests.