African Tribe Roots and Inspirations
As a young boy in 1963 I visited Africa and went through Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in a Land-rover, lived in tents and huts and saw nine lions at the same time and a baby Zebra being born in Ngorongoro. I met the King of Uganda Rukidi 111 of Toro who my mother sang for in his palace. I went to the village on the mountain side of Kilimanjaro and I swam in Crocko and Hippo waters in Lake Victoria and visited Arusha and Nairobi. I smelled the red earth of Afrika and heard the sound of the African night in Tsavo and on the Serengeti Savanna. As a grown up artist I met the great Afrikan photographer and artist Peter Beard and he was large and generous. This series of art works are a tribute to him and at the same time an homage, to one of the strongest women in the 20th century Leni Riefenstahl who was also a dancer, actress, filmmaker, mountaineer and scuba-diver. I have borrowed some of her photos of the Masai and Nuba Warriors.
I have also in this series of African inspired works used some photography by Robert Mapplethorpe as he was obsessed with the black naked male body in his provocative art at the time