We partially moved the exhibition to the living room in the house where I was staying in Baines avenue. Angie (the landlady) was giving a tea party, every one was invited and bring something for the tea.
A great idea, Valery Kabov would be proud that we engaged the Art&Dialogue discussions to the T_. Bring the art to the people if they can not come to the art.
A great afternoon with some 15-20 guests. Angie provided the cups, saucers, plates and the location and the guest brought what they could, ranging from sugar, cakes, coffee, teabags to cheese pies. We talked about bringing up children, gardening, who was the new headmaster. Inside I had 3 paintings tacked to the wall of the living room and a few drawings. Few people liked the works. I could tell by the others slight embarrassed evasiveness and I guess they expected impressionistic landscapes al la Van Gogh. The people who were more keen on art or curious asked questions about the materials and how I set about making the works. They thought the works to be different and peculiar. I liked that, it gave us something to think about, because these were similar remarks I had in 1994. Alienated could be an appropriate word for me and my art.
At 7 in the evening I had promised to visit Thakor Patel. It would be half an hours walk to Thakor’s house and at 10 past 7 I promptly set off. The road was longer than I had anticipated. By the time I was close to the house it was dark. Nearby a gas station I phoned and Thakor came to pick me up.
In 1994 I had tea with Thakor at his house in Belvedere. Now he had moved to a small apartment. He was worried about me walking in the dark, saying it was dangerous. I had felt no danger, but when Thakor told me his experiences with guns being held to his head, his apartment being looted, I thought differently and promised I would take a taxi back.
Thakor Patel came to Zimbabwe on an invitation by a friend just after independence in 1980 and fell in love with the country so he decided to stay. He has been producing and selling art here for thirty years now, exhibiting all over the world and winning awards- but like that of many artist, his name remains a footnote to the story of Zimbabwes last three decades.
While Thakor made some tea for us he told me how his wife had recently passed away.
Now I have to learn everything, from making tea to cooking food. My wife, she would not allow me to come into the kitchen, ”No Thakor, you must paint!”she would say.
The tea was excellent, and for the next few hours we sat in Thakor’s living room like children on the floor, eating, drinking looking at drawings, paintings, catalogues and photographs. A truly remarkable artists whose vision of the arts are universal.
Late that evening I took a taxi back to Baines avenue.