You can learn a lot of things from the flowers

Lately, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t even had time to stop and smell the roses. To top things off, I realized today that the gardeners had begun pruning the rose bushes and my chances were gone. I guess this just means I’ll have to come back next year for another chance. Yesterday, Fiona assigned me a project to begin research on an artist who had passed away just last year. The artist’s real name is Jan Schoeman, but he is more commonly known as Outa Lappies. Outa became famous for creating art out of found objects and could easily be identified in his later years by his lappies jacket that he constantly wore. Lappies are basically found pieces of cloth from which he sewed together to create his infamous jacket. This jacket, as I would come to learn, was also the cause of his fatality. The story goes that Outa awoke just as any morning and after feeding his stray cats, started a fire to warm water for washing. As he turned his back to the fire, his lappies jacket had caught fire and he was soon engulfed in flames. He passed soon after making it to the hospital due to injuries resulting from the burns. Thought to have been born around 1929, Outa had lived a long and fulfilled life despite the tragedy. He claimed his purpose in life was to make something out of nothing. After being able to physically view his art, I would say that he definitely succeeded. Currently I am compiling a formal biography, as well as, attempting to assemble an additional piece that is more personal and creative. Word around the office is that one of the cleaning ladies came from the same village and as Outa and may have known him personally. Fingers are currently crossed that I can manage an interview with her in the near future!

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3 thoughts on “You can learn a lot of things from the flowers

  1. I was basically just given the task to find as many articles as I could on Outa. Right now, I’m just brain storming ideas on different ways to showcase his life along side his work. I’ve proposed an idea to gather interviews from various residents of Prince Albert. According to Auntie Marie, everybody knew him and he was a hero in their community. How great would it be to present interviews from the residents of their favorite stories of Outa. Auntie Marie definitely had some pretty good ones!

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