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Category: Discover

Kitty Powell

Kitty Powell

Home Truths from Down Under It all started with a picture of a picture of a picture.  A beautiful painting – a reproduction – used to hang on a living room wall in my uncle’s (on mother’s side) London apartment.  It was of my grandmother. Entitled Kitty Powell, it was painted by the famous Australian artist, George Lambert, in 1907, I was told.  A sibling had inherited the picture, but kindly gave me a framed sepia photograph of it. This now…

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Stools Pillows Bowls -Utilitarian Art from Africa

Stools Pillows Bowls -Utilitarian Art from Africa

When we think of African tribal art, we think of figurative sculptures of astounding originality in their form and style rather than of everyday artifacts – what is known as utilitarian art. We imagine masks and statues imbued with supernatural powers which give a tribe its socio-religious identity. Although we use this distinction of figurative and utilitarian art, in fact African cultures do not see that difference. All the art of African traditional cultures is functional and part of daily…

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Gule Wamkulu – the Great Dance of Malawi

Gule Wamkulu – the Great Dance of Malawi

“Akuluakulu ndi m’dambo mozimila moto” (The elders are rivers where fire is extinguished’). Chewa Proverb. “Gule Wamkulu‘s fantastical masks are on show this Spring at Loving|Monro Gallery in Santa Monica. Don’t miss these seldom-seen authentic masks that represent the many different characters and morality tales in the cosmology of the Chewa tribe of Malawi.” February 17 2016 – March 31 2016 The Great Matriarchal Bantu People Of Africa The Chewa are mainly known for their masks and their secret society…

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African Art Caravan

African Art Caravan

Johannesburg’s place in the trade and migration of African art objects In Chad, I am taken by camel to visit a man outside the village of Sahr.  I am in search of artifacts which I am told this man – a trader – might have.  As I get to his store, he walks toward me and greets me. ‘Hello, Mark!’ I am thousands of kilometers from home, but a man I have never met before knows exactly who I am. …

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Hideaways in Cape Town

Hideaways in Cape Town

A visit to Cape Town is both an urban experience and an immersion in nature. It’s a unique urban national park – majestic, rugged mountains dominate an urban landscape. Beyond enclaves of moonlit beaches are ancient forests and the unique ‘fynbos’, one of the world’s six floral kingdoms. Well-marked hiking trails are everywhere, offering breathtaking walks as well as more rugged enterprises such as kloofing, which involves the ascent of ancient ravines carved out of a mountain-side by torrential rivers….

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Multicultural Cape Town

Multicultural Cape Town

  Cape Town is one of the world’s iconic cities because of its astonishing natural beauty.  Just as compelling, however, is this city’s amazing multicultural flavor. This genetic diversity which makes up Multicultural Cape Town’s identity begins early on in the history of modern man. It evolves as a result of key historical events which shaped our modern world. Cape Town is home to some of the oldest indigenous populations in Africa. Its inhabitants are also descendants of slaves, settlers,…

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Wabi Sabi and Me

Wabi Sabi and Me

When I first heard the word wabi sabi and learned what it means, it felt like an answer to a big, very important existential question. It was a name for my worldview. This Japanese concept wabi sabi refers to a particular aesthetic which values the beauty of imperfection, of things old, decaying, weathered. A lovingly repaired object, a door whose paint is faded and peeled off by age, use and weather, or a simple and plain design is valued more…

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