Tuesday, 16 March 2010

West Africa - inspiration


About five years ago I was lucky enough to work in Senegal for a while. Before I left West Africa I managed to travel around and see some absolutely beautiful places. One country that I just fell in love with was Burkina Faso. This is a country that has it all. There are the most amazing waterfalls in the South, and then in the North - this most amazing desert. The colours were stunning, always a pale ochre but tinged with greenery.

In the south I visited some really lovely places, where insects you really would never wish to sleep with lived. Always always, even near waterfalls, there was dust (sand) and therefore your clothes never managed to stay clean for more than a few minutes. Yes it is a very poor country, but the society there makes our look like a failing society. They all look out for one another and you rarely see anyone on their own. After a very long bus ride (over 24 hours) sitting on bags of rice, with chickens hanging over head, random children sitting on your lap and a nail from the chair stuck in my back!! - I finally got to my favourite place on this planet. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish to live there, but to stay a while was incredible.

Gorom Gorom. Just the name sounds brilliant! On the edge of the desert, and almost biblical in setting, the weekly market had anything a West African could wish for. Scrawny live chickens, Dr Blah’s Pile remedy, implements for cleaning the home, water carriers, and lovely Tuareg jewellery. The heat though, was too much. You had to almost run from one cover to the next cover. The women and the men dressed with colour that was breathtaking. The place stunned me. One of my over riding memories is having a four poster bed set up under the stars for me to sleep on – then it started raining at about 3 in the morning so had to abandon it, but what a treat.

The bracelet here reminds me very much of Gorom Gorom, the rich orange and green from the unakite with the orange from the cherry quartz, the beautiful peach and green lampwork and the deep green jade to the pink of the rose quartz.
I have to say I’m quite reluctant to sell this piece as it so reminds me of that time.

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