"If you can keep your head when all about you
are losing theirs and blaming it on you.
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you ......
..click here to read the whole poem
I remember copying it by hand and sticking the piece of paper on the back of my bedroom door. It was late '80s in Romania and the poem spoke to me on so many levels.
Little did I know that years later I will live not far from Rottingdean, a place where Kipling wrote a number of his famous books .... but, meandering as we did yesterday, through "Kipling's Gardens", this is another story for another time.
I want to speak today about "African Dream" a photographic exhibition being hosted by the Grange Gallery in Rottingdean, East Sussex. I just couldn't have asked for a better exhibion to attend as a way of being introduced to the village and to the Library/art gallery/coffee shop.
The exhibition is a joint effort of Bob Webzell and Wayne Visser .....two people passionate about Africa and who are ready to share their view, hope, gratitude with the world through photos and words.
When I read Wayne Visser's words:
"I am an African
Not because I was born there
But because my heart beats with Africa's ......."
tears came to my eyes because I had vivid flash backs of my own memories of Africa and its brave people, neverending generosity, joy of life, stunning scenery, raw and pure ...life.............Wayne's words and the images of life taken by Bob surrounding me in the exhibition helped me reconnect with the Africa of my own soul.
When one has the priviledge of talking to the artist himself, everything becomes brighter, stories start pouring, the dance of shared passions is a music that one cannot but join in and celebrate .... and this is what happened, it really did.... we visited the exhibition for 5 minutes, just to have a quick look at the premises (because I will exhibit my paintings there with Art flow in October) ...... two hours later ... we were still there ! Read more about Bob and his passion for Africa in words and stunning photographs here
I couldn't leave without one framed photo of Bob's in particular .... I call it "What do you know about me?" and it moved me beyond words ... it still does. Every time I now look at it I see another story, and another one, painful ones and yet oozing strength, determintation, resilience. This is .... Africa!
One last thing .... all proceeds of their exhibition go to supporting an inspiring project in a tiny village in Tanzania. I'm planning a special feature on their special school project in the Monduli mountain area, close to Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti, a project with the sustainability of a great tribe, the Maasai, in mind but until then, please have a look at their website here