Monday, January 20, 2014

South Africa Trip 2013/2014

representation of indigenous rock art of giraffes
Despite the challenge of having to pare down your belongings (I like having options), I love packing for a trip.  And I did really well with limitations this time around and probably only had one or two unnecessary pairs of shoes.  Similarly, I streamlined my sketchbook/journal into one slim, softcover volume with a favorite Christmas card washi-taped to the front.  Inside, I recorded daily our activities, sites, and reflections in a variety of inks (I was not very restrictive in my pen packing).  Also, I sketched things that interested me or that I had seen that day--often from memory.  It was dog-eared, having been carted in my purse along with the passports and considered as essential.  It was stained and smeared from food and drink, and its pages were practically full.  I reserved a handful for my final entry to be made on the 16 hour return flight from Johannesburg and for a few postcards and brochures I was planning on washi-taping inside.  Unfortunately, my treasured journal did not make the connection to Chicago, and instead remained sandwiched between the Skymall catalogue and the in-flight magazine.  I didn't realize it for a day or two after I was home and unpacking and wondering why I had packed so many pairs of socks.

I share this story only because the loss I feel for that paper-bound time capsule is similar to how I feel now, still, leaving me to wonder if a tiny bit of my soul failed to cross the Atlantic.  It's that strange feeling of not having fully returned.  Perhaps it is a little jet lag of the soul.  I've certainly had this happen before with other trips but none that has lasted this long.  Not only was the experience so grand and expansive but certainly transformative for all of us.  I think we are all a little hungry for the wide, green South African hills and broad, blue sky under which anything could happen--even getting eaten by a lion.

Below are some pictures. OK, there are lots of pictures of the more art-specific sites.  I would have to list about 738 pictures if I was going to include all of the pictures of inspiration.  Don't worry; they'll pop up in paintings and other work soon enough. 
top of 30 foot statue of Mandela which stands in Pretoria

treehouse in the Midlands
whimsical wood carving in the treehouse
Pastel piece made by Ezekial Mabote
Linoleum Print made by Ezekial Mabote

Looms at weaving shop in the Midlands
Print Studio at the Bat Centre in Durban (and yes, that is how they spell center, pretentious)

Bat Centre in Durban
Sculpture in Bat Centre Courtyard
Bat Centre Courtyard Sculpture

metal masks in the Midlands

Christmas tree in the Midlands

ceramics in the Midlands

Weaving Shop in the Midlands

Ardmore Ceramics Studio and Museum (in the Midlands)

Murals in Soweto

Mural at Victoria St. Markets in Durban

No comments:

Post a Comment