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Eyes on Africa04 to 29 March 2015

South Australian artist, traveller and teacher, Ineke van den Hout, exhibited her visual diary of her adventures, experiences and impressions that were collected during her six months journey through East Africa.

"Eyes on Africa" included watercolours, sketches, diaries and paintings of her journey and were exhibited at the Omba Gallery in Windhoek, Namibia, from the 3 March till the 29 March 2015. Ineke owns the Red Heart Art Studio in Port Augusta, South Australia. She creates to make sense of the world around her. She believes, as does Marcel Duchamp, that the creative process is always more important than the end product.

"It is through the process of being creative I come to understand my experiences with different cultures, countries and customs. I don't profess to "understand" or "know" Africa at all. As a traveller I am aware that I only see the surfaces of places and people. The people I meet are the subjects and the objects of my exhibition", says Ineke. Her attitude towards her art making as a process served her well, as the artist lost a significant amount of work she produced during her journey!

Ineke started her journey on the 4th of July 2014 -from Adelaide to Addis Ababa, via Hong Kong. In Ethiopia she attended the University graduation of her (adopted) grandson. Afterwards she travelled through the Omo Valley (the cleanest valley in the world!) and Harar, as well as spending time with her grandson's family in Lalibella.

After Ethiopi, Ineke travelled to Kenya, where she spent four weeks in the Mara. There she lived in a traditional mud hut for two weeks and spend time viewing and tracking wild life. Also she learnt how to shoot a bow and arrow. Carrying water the traditional way was a daily (and heavy) task. After the early rains transformed her accommodation back to its original form eg; mud! she travelled on to Tanzania using the local modes of transport (small mini buses overloaded and driving like mad men!) Her birthday was spent in Zanzibar, where she was deeply touched by the history and memorial statues of the Slave Trade in Stone Town.

Ineke said: " Tanzania was the most productive and creative country. Within two days I was fully absorbed in the arts culture in Dar es Salaam. There was an international arts conference going on and I was invited to attend both evenings! I ended up painting at the NAFASI art space (an artist collective); these paintings were all left on a truck, the first time I hitched a ride!"

Malawi was about rest and recreation as she had a nasty fall on her last night in Tanzania (she thought she had broken her hip!) resting, painkillers and relaxing resulted in little art being made! Ineke's journey continued on to Zambia, where she spent much of her time viewing the rich wild life of the South Lilongwe National Park. A severely injured lion cub, two fighting hippos in the camp and an encounter with a HUGE bull elephant on the way to the restaurant were all remarkable yet intimate wildlife impressions she collected. Also being in the middle of TWO riots in the capital of Zambia added to the sense of adventure! This exhibition is her travel story.

Botswana was rather mild, just visiting friends and a trip down into the Okavango Delta, where she was caught, in a boat filled with water, in the middle of a huge thunder storm. It was the last day of 2014 and Ineke thought she wasn't going to see the New Year at all! In Maun she painted an impressive mural on a backpacker Lodge's wall and exactly six months after she started her journey, January 4th 2015, she arrived in Namibia. While her journey was wholly self-funded, Ineke will attend an artist residency during her stay in Windhoek as part of the Namibia Australia Artist Exchange Programme. This programme was initiated in 2013 by the Namibian Art South-South Trust with the support of the National Arts Council of Namibia and the South Australian Port Augusta Cultural Centre- Yarta Purtli, and the Nexus Multicultural Arts Centre in Adelaide, South Australia.

Ineke's residency is supported by the Art South~South Trust, Yarta Purtli and private Namibian donors.

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