Tanzania: Making Art whilst Travelling

The Morning View of Kili © Jessica Gatfield

Amongst the suncream, mosquito repellent, and numerous documents, my sketchbook could be found, in the stomach of my suitcase, battered and bruised from the flight. Drawing was my escape in England and would continue to be my escape in Africa. At 6am each morning, as the sun was beginning to rise, I was greeted by a crystal clear view of Kili, peeking through the clouds, framed by the garden foliage that seperated us from one another. I would sit and admire, Hibiscus tea in hand, and trace each ridge and summit with my pen before the clouds covered her beauty. Each morning was a race against the cloud, stealing a glimpse before  clarity faded, sketching and marking what my eyes could pilage, patiently awaiting the  24 hours that followed, only to embark on the cycle once again.

Amongst the odd sketches of the beautiful Tanzanian landscape, I began to draw African themed Artwork for fellow travellers as a momento of their trip. I would spend evenings on the balcony, some by candlelight if the power was out, relentlessly sketching for hours upon end, dedicating a week or two to one piece. I produced a total of four drawings, each animal as suggested, created in my own style. Initially influenced by Indian Art and Dotwork tattooing styles, the Tanzanian culture intuitively shaped my Artwork and continues to impact my practice back in the UK.

© Jessica Gatfield
© Jessica Gatfield
© Jessica Gatfield

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