Nova Scotia Artist, Joy Laking, posts ramblings while she's travelling and painting in South America.

Friday, February 13, 2009

February 13, 2009

Ivar Mendez, the young Halifax neurosurgeon, who is doing so much good in Bolivia and his partner Yvonne, picked us up in the morning and took us to Museo Antonio Paredos Candia in the next city of El Alto. This museum was completely empty except for us. It is far from La Paz city centre. This museo has a spectactular collection of paintings, ceramics and sculpture, both contempory and historical. I loved most of the work. After a marvelous tour of the collections, we talked with the sulptor Victor Sapana who was sculpting in the courtyard.

Our afternoon was filled with a hike beyond the witches market up hill to the market that sells goods for the local indigenous people. Up hill climbs are always difficult at this high altitude. I was looking for frilly panties that are worn in Peru under all the slips and skirts and aprons. I thought they would make a marvelous gift for my friends and my daughters and could be used as summer pajamas. Well we looked for a couple of hours and despite my trying to ask in spanish and sign language we never found those frilly panties. Obviously they are not worn in Bolivia. Later in the afternoon we got caught in a thunder lighting, hail and torential rain storm. Last evening many roads were blocked by the huge boulders that had been washed into the streets.

At 5:30, we were somewhat dried out and we were again picked up by Ivar and Yvonne and taken to meet one of Bolivia´s most successful artists, Mamani Mamani. Despite my lack of Spanish, Ivar translated and Mamani and I had much in common.(even having done calendars and serigraphs) Mamani´s work is spectacular. Of course I´m a colour nut, so I was particularly enthralled with the glowing colourful shapes done in oil pastel. Art is so universal. It can be a marvelous bridge between cultures.

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