The exhibition in the studio changed for the Knysna Literary Festival with poems from Terry’s collection ‘Thank you Calliope’, on the walls between the paintings. Great that people are reading the poems and buying the books. It’s the first time I have been able to see the three paintings I did of the fish market in Dar Es Salaam displayed together.
Aly and Eugene here from France for the week. Rain sweeping in over the lagoon. Chasing us inside for chats, red wine and not enough sleep.
Surprisingly, for me, the Chardonnay was a much better accompaniment than Pinot to the excellent calamari with cabanossi and olive dish that Hirsh cooked for us. Lime and chilly fish with bok choy parcels infused with delicate flavours. A hint of crunchiness from the water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. The De Toren Diversity quite stunning.
Walking alongside an elephant, at the Knysna elephant park, as the light peers through the morning mist must be one of the most remarkable experiences possible.
Yes, the eye that gazes down at you, from beneath those long lashes, is one of amused tolerance. And there is something slightly nerve wracking about having two tons of elephant towering above you.
But also something deeply humbling and moving about being in contact with the elephant. Especially if you are lucky enough to have that contact when their stomach rumbles. Remarkable. A hundred years of collective sorrow that we have mercilessly slaughtered them for something as useless as their tusks.
Whether you can accept that they are trained, alive and happy, rather than free and dead is something each individual has to work through. The handlers of the elephant have Fiberglas rods with bullhooks for handling that I still find disturbing. Even if used as a guide and not a weapon. However, my walk with the 20 year old Nandi was managed with gentle words, to which she responded. With amused tolerance.
Seeing part of the herd running through lush grassland was breathtaking.
Paintings sold from the studio, with a couple of small paintings completed of elephants. On the easel, a painting of the guy who sells his forest herbs and medications.
Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm