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 ►