These days we all seen to have them, a list for this and a list for that. We even have ‘bucket lists’!
Well, I am no exception and one things on my bucket list was something I knew I had to do before the glaciers melted and I was too old to do it….. Not to mention it is one place until then that I had yet to travel.
So, off I went with my partner and we headed to Africa….To climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Being an Australian, for some reason, Africa has always been a place I believed I would feel at home in. I longed to see wild game and large free animals and to experience cultures and new art influences again.
I was not disappointed.
Climbing Kilimanjaro was spiritually one of the most uplifting and all encompassing experience I have had to date.
Physically it started off easy, as we took the nine day route, wanting to experience all of Kilimanjaro not just the climb… but the last 48 hours at altitude and the steep climb up and down was as gruelling as any marathon I have ever run. When I got to the top I looked like a chipmunk and was delirious with the sense of achievement. I might add, the guides, porters and my partner were an amazing source of strength.
Emotionally I was overwhelmed. To finally be ticking this big thing off my list, to be there and breathe African air and walk on African soil was like I had been there before as was coming home.
The whole Kilimanjaro experience was something that will stay with me forever.
Inspiration comes from everywhere, and during our time in Africa we stayed in some of the most amazing places.
The most amazing was in Kloof in South Africa, the Zulu Palace and all I can say is WOW and I want to go back.
The colour and design elements were so bright and tribal they excited my symmetric inner control freak. The outside of the premises were something else and the décor inside was just a feast for my eyes.
Outside of the Zulu Palace
The tapestries, furniture and artefacts were like being in a Zulu museum.
Some of the beaded artefacts was amazing!
Naturally travelling in Africa your senses are alive with inspiration. Colour, life itself, wide open spaces, the people and culture and of course the game and wildlife.
Upon my return, I was bursting to get into the studio. There is a hue to Africa that is like a watercolour, a wash over everything giving a magical, surreal yet very real presence.
These are some of the pieces I created after my trip. I have displayed as a collage of the works in progress.
The first was a large bowl, I called ‘African Stone’, not to brag, but I was very pleased as it sold within a week of making it.
The second was a wall clock commission and a set of coasters. The clients were very happy with it as was I, and went out the door so quickly I did not get a final photo of the finished clock or coasters….. This was inspired by the Zulu Palace.
My African inspiration still continues…..