So My first piece is an Eagle, or is it a Falcon? Don’t ask me, I am also not sure. But the back story is that, at its lowest moment, it soars high into the isolation of its nest secluded high in the mountains and plucks out all its feathers one by one. Almost to the point of starvation, it grows new feathers and starts again. That is resilience.
My second piece of art is a Peacock, Mmmhh! Some say it represents vanity and pride. But I see a gracefully beautiful, content, complete and self aware creature, oblivious of external noise or un-informed judgements, seems like its raising a middle finger at all of us and saying “I am here to stay, fierce and phenomenal, deal with it”
Then I have a traditional eight stringed African musical instrument. Made from natural materials, the base is a calabash with a wooden frame, wooden pegs to tighten the strings. I don’t know how to play it, but I am certain that it is capable of making the most beautiful music and I am content at the thought of blissful, soulful music. The irony is that this item has no compelling history, it was not handed down to me by a loving grandfather, No! I bought it impulsively, from a hawker, while sitting in the annoying Nairobi traffic. But that doesn’t make it less valuable.
Then I have a beautifully patterned hand woven basket or tray (depends on your frame of reference) I bought it in Rwanda in one of my visits, because it is meticulously woven, one strand at a time from one unimportant random sisal string into a beautiful basket/tray thing.
And then the Lion….. It’s actually a badge of shame, how so? you ask. Well, it represents male privilege, King of the Jungle? I don’t think so, all the lion does is piss on trees to mark its territory, occasionally lets out a roar to assert its authority, chase away competition and then goes back to nap in the shade awaiting the prized choice cut from the Lionesses that hunt for food and take care of the cubs and stuff…….
And the most controversial piece of them all, straight lines, crooked lines, unaligned circles and illegible, confused disorganized patterns. In all this confusion is my most valued piece of art…. I get questioned a lot about it “What is it? What does it represent? What does it say? What’s it’s hidden meaning? Were you drunk when you got it? Are you illuminati? Can I touch it?” and in my most patient, sweet and calm voice I always answer “It’s one big mess, its my mess, I love it and hate it with equal measure because it represents the mess that is my life”
This pieces are not very expensive, but they are extremely valuable, because they tell a complete imperfect story……..a narrative that is mine, and that can only be told by me!