Carl Roberts


In 1957 I was born in Bristol, England.  My father was a pilot and my mother a P.T. trainer in the R.A.F.  My father went to Germany as part of the N.A.T.O. occupational forces.  During an exercise he crashed his jet and died.  My mother, my sister and I traveled to South Africa to live near my grandparents.  Here my mother met and later married my father’s brother.  We went to live with him in Kitwe in Zambia and later followed him to Benoni, Newcastle and Pretoria, in South Africa.  He was a smoker and after several years of unhappy marriage and two children, died of lung cancer.  On the voyage back to England my mother met Robbie (Arthur) Roberts. They married in Durban, South Africa and we went to live in Tanga, Tanzania.  Mr. Roberts adopted the children and thereby gave us his surname. After a relatively stable 4 ½ years we moved to East London, South Africa.  It was here that I finished my schooling by failing my matric.   


I work like the automatic artist of the Surrealist movement in that I trust my subconscious to generate ideas.  The emphasis is on “magic, accident, irrational, symbols and dreams”.  Like the Rorschach (ink blot) test, the material often suggests images and sometimes presents them in an unusual way.  The image made depends ultimately upon what lies in the subconscious, elements of chance and the spirit of the times. 

Carl Roberts