Stoneslingers, 1994



There are several versions of this event, the first in 1987 with Shawn Johnson, Ricky Ryder and half-brother, Dennis as protagonists. At the time of its occurrence I was living in a near apartment.

Alarmed at the sound of rattling on tin, I’d run upstairs to see kids slinging stones at my neighbour’s roof, an American employee at the Defence Facility. I doubted the kids knew that or were expressing little more than the hijinks my brother and I indulged at their age.

Was it an isolated case?

As the years passed, friends and media reported the frequency of similar incidents. Not just rooves either. House and shop windows were smashed. Rocks had been heaved at drivers through car windscreens.

“Broken glass addiction” was one explanation doing the rounds. No longer could these be excused as the carefree antics that inspired versions of my paintings.

I restaged the event in this instance with Adrian Hayes junior trying to break the shackles of his sister, Shirleen. Patrick junior and Malcolm Hayes are busy targeting the roof.

I didn’t know the actual kids who lived in the nearby Ilpeye Ilpeye /  needlebush town camp to which they beat a hasty retreat when the disturbed gent soon started protesting from his side the fence.


  1. A taxi driver told me that the next generation of stoneslingers is well on the way. Driving into town camps young kids, some barely more than toddlers, are enthusiastically practicing by first perfecting the arm movement minus the stone.


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