As the vivid memories from growing up in East Africa come back to me I recall the lush tropical foliage of the frangipani bush and the wonder of the changing colours of the chameleon’s as they climbed from branch to branch in the front garden of our estate. To play amongst the arid grounds of the water dams and answer to the call of the house boy when he had caught a chicken for supper which he had chased around the house. To the raid of the pythons snake on the chickens sheds, shot at by my father and the houseboys to tray to kill the venomous snake. It was to grow up and play barefooted in the arid afternoons and swim in the hospitals swimming pool after school hours. At nights the cry of the hyena and the howls of the panther on the mountain tops in the front yard kept us awake but as child you have little fear of life or wild life. I remember a scorpion climbing up the leg of my sister on the way to school and my mother’s quick reaction to swipe it off her leg and continue on our journey to school.
The Nightingales painting are drawn from the small male bide that sings at night, as they migrate from Africa in the spring and leave for Europe in the fall, the inspiration for the paintings were developed with piano and the sound recordings of the birds composer Maia Haig Wackernagel and developed the concepts together with the distant drum beats of africa sounds and the Massaii tribes celebrate in there hidden communities.