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Where Does a Art Come From?

africa art creativity inspiration kenya last kings portraits travel where does art come from Apr 22, 2020

Author: Charla Maarschalk

If you’ve been reading my blogs, you know that I travelled to Kenya in early 2019. If you haven’t read, be sure to catch up on the stories I’ve written so far.

This post is part of a series where I explain the inspiration for art pieces created once I arrived home.

Where does inspiration come from? 


I travelled to Kenya with my friend who is a Naturopathic Doctor. As part of our trip we travelled to West Pokot for an overnight medical outreach. The man in the images below was one of the elders of the isolated village we treated. He caught my attention as he was one of the only people that could speak English. Around his neck was a well worn sling shot. As I thought of how my son would love a sling shot like that, he went on to explain that it was his ‘African Gun.’ I imagined he knew well how to use it.


As the day went on, we witnessed many dynamics of the community. One of which was how the Chief wanted the Elders to be treated by the medical team before the women and children no matter how big or little their issues were. I’m not sure what this guy's role was, but I later noticed him sitting with the rest of the village on the hard concrete rather than the chairs that had been brought in.

We can discuss and judge the traditions of the village as long as we have breath. But more than that, I wish that I could have some long conversations with these men and women to hear and understand their stories a little better.


He reminded me that he was part of the generation of the last kings. Just a decade ago these village were untouched by the outside world. As much as they are desperate for help, education, and medical care, there are parts of their culture that will be lost and changed forever because of the new connections. And there’s always a sadness to that. I felt somewhat privileged to witness them at this stage of change. And I look forward to documenting their evolution some more.

Creativity awaits!


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