When I think of sunsets, my mind takes me back to Mizingani Road in Stone Town, Zanzibar. Because this road runs right next to the shore of the Indian Ocean, there is something epic about the look of the sky when it is about to transform from daylight to nightfall. It didn’t occur to me to capture what this looks like when I was actually on the island. Somehow, we take these magical things for granted when they are in front of us, only to realize that there is something special about them, after we have moved on.
I haven’t seen any paintings that give the feeling of what I saw in those moments. Maybe if one searches far and wide enough, there could be photos of the magical sky. I can see why some folks are bewitched by the allure of staying in places like that.
In more practical terms, there isn’t that much for an artist to do. If I was in the position of a Gauguin or someone similar – with the means to support my basic survival, then I would consider spending most of my time in such a beautiful place, and I would create works of art inspired by the awe inspiring natural features of my surroundings.
But I have to make a living and keep things ticking along, so I can’t afford to get off the conveyor belt of plying my wares in the hustle and bustle of a city such as London – a place that has its own charms, but is also demanding of time and energy to keep up with everything.
I am grateful for the access I have to amenities, knowledge and stimulation from a wide range of sources, living in the city of my birth. I am also glad that I had an opportunity to spend time by the Indian Ocean, simply looking at the sun going down.