Feb 13 2014. Sophie Lalonde Art. itower. CBD. Gaborone. Botswana.
A collection of portraits of my community, this is my Botswana; I know you, you know him, he knows her who I know too. Over 30 paintings make up "My Botswana" collection. 13 full color acrylic on canvas and 20 sepia acrylic on film.
Acrylic on film.
On Painting Portraits of a Community.
The thing about Botswana that took me years to realize is that the landscape is not only about the rocks and earth or the endless dry vistas.
The Botswana landscape shifts and changes according to the people who move through your daily life. In deserts you have to zoom into the detail of that tiny unexpected flower growing in the stony ground. People here are like that. These people become the places you go to. When faced with their absence there is an entirely new landscape to get used to.
Discovering new people defines details of places you have passed by for years; the urban peopled landscape of the taxi rank or the village you visit for the first time.
My Botswana is made up of parts; people are connected in both obvious and indirect ways. My neighbors and friends, my children’s teachers and friends, their parents, the doctor, the property developer of the new mall, my maid, the taxi driver who brings her to work, his sister who sells sausages at the station, their mother who lives in a far off village. I want to show you the Motswana artists, poets, rappers and writers.
Setting out to depict the extraordinary mix of people, my landmarks in this landscape, is an impossible task; my subjects the mere tip of my Botswana.
Some encounters are fleeting, I’m the outsider looking in, sometimes welcome and other times not. Still, these are my snap shots of lives that touch my own because we are in the same place at the same time.
This is my Botswana, my love letter to this surrogate mother. Maybe recognition will spark. At least, I hope so. This is how life is in Botswana, I know you, you know him and he knows her, who I know too.
Acrylic on canvas.