Okay, I'm milking this for all its worth - easy blog posts these! Last installment on my mother's exhibition.
Coz after this I need to tell you about my new haircut!
Okay, this is going to be a big old photo-ey blog. Coz I found it so hard to choose which pictures to show ya'll.
Its hard to get an idea, but these are all big.
Ghost Elephant - Trade Routes
And here, some of the blurbs that I so diligently printed and put up about the place!
"Pam Guhrs-Carr was born in Malawi and raised in Zambia, in one of Africa’s prolific wildlife areas, the Luangwa Valley where her father Norman Carr was Game Warden and later a well known conservationist. She grew up with an intimate knowledge of the wildlife in the area. Living in Lungwa’s wilderness environment has formed her work on multiple levels as she draws on its history, indigenous cultures and biodiversity. Her work challenges hackneyed perceptions of animals in Africa. From western eyes that visit zoos and game reserves to local perceptions of animals as intrinsically linked to ancestors, she revisions the metaphorsthat bind humans and animas.
The black and white images in this exhibition are inspired by her research of the rock paintings of eastern Zambia and their relation to contemporary women’s initiation practices in Luangwa Valley.
She has exhibited her work in Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, the States and London. Her work is represented in museums and collections internationally and has been auctioned by Christies in London. "
Softly Treads the Forest Floor
"The aadvark softly treads the forest floor, making music with its feet" Pablo Neruda
“I am interested in the different cultural perceptions of nature and people’s place in it… the shifting boundaries between animals and humans represented in indigenous knowledge systems… Animals often become metaphors for universal concerns – cycles of life, birth, death etc. or are used in a shamanistic way, as a conduit to a different state of consciousness”
Bedroom Window, 3am
During her research into women’s initiation in eastern Zambia for her MA Fine Art, Guhrs discovered that the images the women were using to teach the girls were the same as some of the rock paintings in Zambia. Although simple and abstract, some of these symbols contain a depth of concept.
The sun image relates to the male element and the moon is female. Stories and dances and songs illustrate the philosophy of opposing yet related elements, male/female, spiritual/material, culture/nature.
Her paintings of these tar and lime images are a result of her immersion in some of the language of pictograms, cyphers, signs and symbols at the core of Kunda thought. She absorbs concepts and images repeating them again and again almost in mantra mode, internalising a lexicon.
Women's Symbols, Men's images
And detail of one of the panels:
The elemental materials such as tar and lime, both subject to chemical changes, used in Guhrs’ paintings reflect concepts of transformation and regeneration and also the repetition inherent the initiation teachings.
Since the 1800s Europeans in Central Africa have reported an association between lions and the spirits of deceased chiefs. In 1832 Gamitto, a Portuguese explorer in the Luangwa Valley noticed the Africans there being able to chase lions away from the animals they had killed and take the meat for themselves. Local Africans explained this was possible because the lions were really benevolent chief’s spirits.
“The person that the spirit lion comes to is made to feel sick until the job is completed…If the person does the bidding of the spirit lion he or she usually feels well again and acquires a special skill, such as knowledge of medicines or healing.” (Strickland)
Okay, enough already. For more info visit her website