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The Swahili Coast
My source of Inspiration

Having grown up in Mombasa I am very partial to the architecture, romance, culture and peoples of the Swahili Coast. My early years on the Swahili Coast were laced with drama, turmoil and great fun. My father and mother were both bohemian romantics who had a strong influence on my life as did the breakup of their marriage in the late 1950s. My surroundings had a similarly strong effect on me. I spent lots of time away from home wandering on my own or with school friends through the Old Town and watching the goings on at the historic and atmospheric Dhow Harbor. In later years this experience expanded to include an appreciation of other parts of the Swahili Coast such as the Lamu, Manda, Kiwayu, Dodori and Boni.
So even today I feel a strong romantic emotion when I visit this part of East Africa, emotions that are reflected in every painting I do of this region.

1/15 : Pate Town on Pate Island near Lamu.
An aerial image of a crowded, compact town surrounded by palm trees and situated on the edge of a mangrove creek. The architecture has the typical look of the Swahili Coast, with a strong Arab influence,  each house with a small central courtyard,flat topped roofs and tiny narrow streets between the buildings
2/15 : An ancient Arab ruin at Shanga Rubu on Pate.
An aerial image of a ruined building just visible in a forest of acacia scrub and baobabs.
3/15 : Dodori National Reserve and topi herds.
An aerial image of a vast flat plain with palm trees and some scattered herds of topi antelope.
4/15 : The Dodori River - Kenya's secret wilderness on the Somali border.
An aerial image of three buffalo drinking in a wide river.
5/15 : Manda Island: A wilderness across the channel from Lamu.
An image of Clarissa Augustinus walking towards a tree line on a island where there is a baobab and in the middle distance there are some ruins.
6/15 : Manda Island: The ruins on the Northern part of the island.
An image of Clarissa Augustinus examining the ruins of an old Mosque which consist of an arched alcove  facing towards Mecca.
7/15 : Bimbi and Fuzz Dyer of Manda Bay.
An image of two people posing together in the Manda Bay  dining room.
8/15 : Manda Island wildlife sometimes is afflicted by a drought.
An image of a water bowser filling up a large concrete water trough in a very small clearing in the acacia scrub.
9/15 : Waiting for something to happen.
An image of Clarissa Augustinus seated in the front of an open Land Rover and looking at the water trough from a distance.
10/15 : Wildlife starts to arrive
An image of a small bushbuck antelope male with short spiral horns and a reddish hide that has delicate vertical white stripes. The animal is approaching from behind the vehicle and headed towards the water trough while Clarissa Augustinus, twists around and cranes her neck for a better view
11/15 : Then a Manda Island buffalo walks into view after the sun has set.
An image of a large male buffalo bull which walks into view from around a bush and heads for the water trough.
12/15 : Manda Bay also feed the buffalo when grazing becomes scarce.
An image of a buffalo bull feeding from a container containing maize meal while a bush buck male walks past in the foreground.
13/15 : The friendship between the driver and a wild buffalo bull.
An image of a man standing on the edge of the water trough while two buffalo water from the same trough an arms length away!
14/15 : On a game drive we saw this in the center of the island.
An image of two buffalo walking slowly through the very dense acacia scrub that is the main vegetation covering these Swahili Coast islands and coastline.
15/15 : Harvest Moon on Manda Island.
An image of a blood-red moon rising up over the horizon out to sea on a moody, atmospheric ,late evening scene with distant coral island and some dune forest scrub in the foreground.

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