Sylvia and friends


Sylvia and friends.  40 by 30 inches unframed.  Oil on linen.

I had taken a break from an Ayinza sponsored training session for the schoolgirls of Mpongo.  The boy on the left was the first to notice me.  He was 11 or 12, walking barefoot back from the fields with the ubiquitous Ugandan hoes over his shoulder.  His shirt was fashioned out of an old grain sack.  He was dangerously thin, and he wasn't in school.  Soon others joined him, all modeling for the camera.  Just a normal day except for the mzungu (me).

Later, as the painting was composing itself, the theme came clear.  These kids represented the range of affluence in the village.  Some had shoes, some did not.  Some went to school, some did not.  Some had nice clothes, some did not.  Some had a future, some did not.  Could you tell there was a difference by their faces?  No.  Is there something to learn from them?  I think so.

The original painting is sold.  No copies are available.