I don’t know my brushstroke from breaststroke, but I know I love art. I love the fact that it inspires the creative juices within me. My heart dances, my mind floats and my brain travels to the different places that each painting offers a passage to.
I’m writing this from my hotel room in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. I happened to have had a free day and after sanitizing my guilt by spending half the day working, I headed to Makush Art Gallery. It had been recommended as a place to visit during my stay in Africa’s ‘capital’.
Antique Ethiopian furniture lined the stair case that led me to the gallery. I was soon splashed colour and my senses were jolted! I am an excitable person and I was surprised by how the little boy inside me was besides himself. The other things that usually illicit such merriment are commercial aircraft, Olympic opening ceremonies, contemporary dance and athletics. And now, good art! Who’d have thought canvas and oil paints could take me to a place of such joy? The choice was endless and I didn’t know where to start. Antique pieces neighbored contemporary works. This was typical of my experience of Addis Ababa, a confluence of old and new. One complimenting the other.
There was no need to watch the clock to see how fast my lunch order would get to me (Makush also harbours a restaurant that displays even more art). I had art to devour and when my meal did arrive, I was already in the company of newly found friends whose splendor kept me company through my meal. I’d look up from my food and stare at a painting and my brain would go into overdrive! As I write this piece, I find myself smiling at what was a memorable Saturday afternoon. I wanted to share what I was experiencing with fellow art lovers. I was falling in love with Ethiopian art. The names of the artists and their works, are a story for another day. For now, I’m still enjoying my moment and holding onto that beautiful feeling that made my eyes glassy and brought back childlike excitement within me.
I had found my Addis happy place and my heart embellished in colour.