Shades of Kathmandu

Written by Declan on December 1st, 2011 Categories: Latest | there are 3 Comments »

The words, to be fair, come relatively easily – it’s finding the time to actually sit down and put them all in the right order which I find mostly problematic… With what I hope to be a sufficient amount of this ever-elusive time on my hands then, I’d best get cracking and weave for you a colourful tale of beautiful smiles, happiness, laughter and splodges of brightly coloured paint!

It was an unusually dry and sunny Saturday in the middle of a monsoon now past when 20 Nepali artists, who had kindly volunteered their time and creative skills, were introduced to 20 of the children supported by just-one and a wonderful art-filled afternoon was enjoyed by all at a shaded palace courtyard in the heart of old Kathmandu. Blank canvases were transformed by the thoughtful strokes of countless brushes and by the end of the humid afternoon, dozens of unique masterpieces stood drying in the shade. Some of the children had patiently posed for some of the artists, while other artists had collaborated with their young apprentices and more again simply provided occasional passing guidance to a few of the more confident prodigies.

Painters & the painted – Photo courtesy of Alex Czernin

Aside from the numerous happy memories imprinted and a few seeds of ambition undoubtedly sown, the next most significant outcome of this artistic gathering was the considerable collection of work which has since made the trans-global journey to my native Clonakilty – which from today is awash with copies of a pretty funky poster! Enjoyable, engaging and educational activity aside, you see, there were more layers to this workshop than rickshaws in Durbar Square at the height of trekking season. While the participating artisans on the day had the valuable opportunity to contemplate the intertwined phenomena of poverty, child labour, street kids and deprivation that are all scarily commonplace in their capital city and also see first-hand the dramatically positive effect opportunity can have on the life of a child who previously lacked it; so too now do the people of West Cork have the prospect of pondering upon similar thoughts and deciding if they too would care to help out in whatever way they can.

Shades of Kathmandu, as the exhibition has been billed, is due preview at An Teach Beag in Clonakilty from 6pm on Wednesday next (December 7th) and will be officially launched (I believe that ‘officially’ means that there’ll be wine! ;o) at 7.30pm the same evening. The collection of over 30 beautiful paintings (including one by none other than the internationally renowned Nepali artist, Mr. Shashi Shah) will show there again from 10am to 6pm on the following day, before relocating to Astna Square for a weekend of life-changing sales. I say ‘life-changing’ here, not because the lucky buyers of any of these unique works of art will experience untold improvements in virtually all aspects of their personal lives (although they probably will… ;o), but rather to simple highlight the fact that, thanks to the generosity of ALL involved in making this event what we hope it will be, 100% of the proceeds it raises will go directly to supporting just-one’s life changing work in Nepal with some truly inspirational children who deserve so much more than the crappy hand they’ve been dealt in life.

If you haven’t seen one of these posters in your local supermarket, please feel free to print this off and stick it up there now!

As the poster says “a warm and open invitation for all to attend” so, unless you’d need to take a long-haul flight to actually get here, I look forward to seeing you at what promises to be a great event. If, however, you are one of our international friends who, in the time honoured fashion of all great and glitzy events, “unfortunately can’t make it on the evening”, fear not! As soon as some kind Santa out there gifts us a Pro account on Flickr, I’ll happily jam my bandwidth to upload plenty more photographs of the aforementioned workshop, all of the stunning artworks it saw created and, of course, choice highlights of the resulting dual-venue exhibition too! Perhaps then we’d have all the required components to consider attempting our first on-line auction… Hmmm, now there’s a great big scary light bulb of an idea that I’d rather not get like this – at the wrong side of midnight! Excuse me while I go off and think that one over…

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