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The Show: 1

Once, when my wife and I were dining out with friends, the conversation took an interesting turn. I had just shown them for of my paintings that were due to be shipped to my agent. One of the guests asked me how did you end up as a painter and live a life of adventure in the wilds of Africa? The answer to that seemingly simple question is complex but one word sums it all up. Dreams!
Over the last 40 years I made paintings, had solo shows, married me dream girl and for a lot of that time lived a life of adventure in the genuine African wilderness. It wasn't all fun either! There was the anxiety and stress of living with absolutely no social, medical or financial safety net to catch me if I stumbled. Regardless, I went for it, bet the farm and survived.
But there was some unfinished business that I had never dealt with on my journey. In 2010 I had a solo show, curated by Mark Read, at the Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-one years had passed since Mark Read had curated my first show, which was at the Sanderling Gallery in 1989. Following that there were several other solo shows at their flagship gallery, Everard Read, Johannesburg. But this 2010 show at Everard Read was much more than the sellout solo exhibition of paintings that it turned out to be. Because I decided to make the show catalogue essay about my Mombasa childhood - it was also the moment when I went looking for a lost parent, my father. I discovered some truths about my own background and squared a circle that had remained incomplete for fifty years. At the time I never imagined what the outcome would be. This is the story of that show, what happened when I started to piece my own story together for the show catalogue. Also, along the way I remembered how my own dreams came true.
The Show: 2 ►

1/13: My dreams were found in the African wilderness!
An aerial image of the Okavango, with buffalo in the foreground. Image by Paul Augustinus
2/13: This was where I found my destiny.
Paul Augustinus is confronted by a huge bull elephant where he was camped for a year at Savuti.
3/13: And along the way I found my dream girl.
Clarissa Augustinus, West Cork, with a camer and wild Irish coastline in the background.
4/13: Then in 2009 a phone call with my agent Mark Read. 'What about a show?'
Mark Read. Everard Read Gallery 2009. Image Paul Augustinus.
5/13: For the next year I worked on the paintings.
Paul Augustinus in a tent painting on a small canvas.
6/13: Then a strange, grubby package is delivered to my doorstep.
An image of a very dirty and torn envelope with an address written on it. Image by Paul Augustinus
7/13: Inside the package were treasures from my unknown past!
Paul Augustinus in a studio examining the contents of a package on his desk.
8/13: This led me to a search for my fathers grave in the Seychelles.
Paul Augustinus image of a graveyard on the side of a hill in the Seychelles.
9/13: The essay in my catalogue led me to many lost relatives.
 A catalogue for a Paul Augustinus show lying on a table in an exhibition hall.
10/13: And the paintings in that show had meaning from my past.
 Paul Augustinus with one of his 2010 Everard Gallery  show paintings
11/13: Opening night. My 2010 show at Everard Read in Johannesburg
 A large crowd of guests in an exhibition hall at the Everard Read Gallery.
12/13: Seeing the guests circulate reminded me of what had happened at the Sanderling!
Guest at the opening night of show move through the various gallery spaces looking at paintings.
13/13: Red dots next to every painting. A very satisfying conclusion to an emotional roller coaster of a year.
 Labels with red dots  on the wall next to each painting.
A thumbnail image - sunset
A thumbnail image - elephant and person
A thumbnail image - Clarissa Augustinus
A thumbnail image - Mark Read
A thumbnail image - Paul Augustinus
A thumbnail image - writing on a package
A thumbnail image  - a snapshot
A thumbnail image - a grave
A thumbnail image - a catalogue
A thumbnail image - Paul Augustinus
A thumbnail image - paul Augustinus
A thumbnail image - Everard Read Gallery
A thumbnail image - red dots