Monday, February 23, 2015


Three years ago, while travelling through Namibia, a very tall man took these photographs of a Herero woman, selling her wares next to the road. He brought me one of her lovely little dolls.

On saturday, racing through the boot sale on my way to set, I found these two beauties - judging by the fabrics used, from the seventies.

And finally, after seeing women dressed like this in Swakopmund when I was last there many years ago, receiving a doll and finding two more, I did some research on the Herero people.

This is not the place where I wish to rile against other nations, imperialism or colonialism. The history is there to be found by anyone who is interested. I was ignorant and now I know a little more.

I have been beset by a new passion lately - early 1900's African postcards. In my eagerness to explore, many collectors that I have come to know over the years have loaned me pieces from their own collections to study and scan.
Above, an old photograph of two Herero girls.

On my web travels, I came across the breathtaking work of Alfred Duggan-Cronin, an Irishman who worked in South Africa from 1897-1932.
And also some beautiful contemporary work by Jim Naughten.

Anthropologist Dr Lutz Marten said: 'Wearing the enemy's uniform will diminish their power and transfer some of their strength to the new wearer.
'This is in part assimilation to European culture, and also in part appropriation, a coming-to-terms with, and overcoming of history and the colonial experience,' he said.
Speaking about the clothes Herero women wear, he said: 'A correctly worn long dress induces in the wearer a slow and majestic gait.'

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


City of walkers. You can stand on any street corner for a while and  just watch the people passing by. People are walking and laughing and talking and carrying and pushing and pulling.

If it has wheels, you can move it.
You can rest in a doorway or follow the girls with their
bright sun umbrellas.

The colours. The light.

The thunder in the distance.

The swishing of a woman's skirt.

You watch and you listen.
You melt into the pot.