Beauty in Resilience (Limited Edition)
£28.00 – £60.00
Gorgeous quality fine art print of the acrylic painting ‘Beauty in Resilience’ inspired by a woman I met in Central African Republic.
This is a limited edition print with only 100 produced (each print is numbered).
NB: The prints come with a 2.5cm border, which is in addition to the size of the image you select below (i.e. for an image of 50cm x 50cm will be printed on 60cm x 60cm paper).
Contact me directly if you would like to purchase the original artwork.
I cannot remember this woman’s name. She was a grandmother I met in the village of Boda, in Central African Republic, where I worked with a humanitarian organisation. She – like many other villagers – had fled into the bush when her mud and straw house had been burnt down in attacks and reprisal attacks by Christian and Muslim armed gangs. She is what the UN and humanitarian organisations typically classify as ‘vulnerable’ – an older, single lady with no man of the house or means by which to earn a living. With her son and daughter-in-law killed during the conflict, she was bringing up her two young grandchildren, one of which had a child of her own. When asked, other villagers also held her up as an example of one of the most vulnerable groups in their society, a priority for humanitarian aid.
In Boda, I led a team supporting villagers build back 2,000 houses destroyed by the conflict. We worked with this lady during the project start-up phase to identify priority needs. She had no hesitation at expressing herself. I still remember her – a tiny woman, 4 feet something – thanking the builders who had worked on her home in the same breath as making further requests. She was a force, and her frankness challenged me.
I felt a defiance and strength in this woman which I wanted to capture. a beauty in her resilience. I tried to refer to this complexity of her place in society in my choice of layers and colours: in between the acrylic layers are two layers of transparent acrylic gloss. Rather in the way of peering through a stain glass window, you can look through one layer to layers behind. Purposefully, I’ve painted her portrait in earthy colours, browns, interlacing them with royal purple and hints of gold paint.
Look at that strong and steady gaze, those lines on her face. They tell of a past which is now – tragically – longer than that of many of her neighbours. She survived, and continues to do so.