Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I went shopping today at the most tasteful and expensive shop in all of Burkina. It’s always a bad idea, as it just accents the fact that I am decorating-impaired. At K-lala, everything is perfect. ( check out There are lavishly embroidered tablecloths that make perfect backgrounds for the Limoges china painted with zebras. There are great old antique colonial beds that look very romantic with a mosquito net and an intricate batik coverlet. Our mosquito nets at home don’t look romantic. They look like something to keep mosquitos off of you.
And I have no antique anything, except for possibly our car, but that probably doesn’t count.
I have the good taste to admire the stuff at this shop and I love the houses that they decorate.
But the fact is, I wouldn’t be able to stand living in a “decorator” house.
On one wall of our living room we have a crazy-looking Dodo dancer mask that Valentine won in a Halloween contest a few years ago. Beside it hangs a vibrantly detailed watercolor of a horse that she did. Farther over, there is a painting by a friend of JP’s that visited Burkina a while back. It was directly inspired by her stay here, which is a little disturbing, as it is very chaotic-looking, all in black; brown and gray with weird, demonic little animal faces peeking out. She SAYS she had a good time here, but I don’t know…..
Another wall holds yet another work by Valentine ( a brilliant sketch of a horse’s head) and a painting of Burkina street scenes done by a friend that used to live here.
Most of our pictures are matted on Papiers du Sahel paper, of course.
In the picture at left, you can see a shelf in the Jacob house. (Most of the are full of books, of course) This one holds a bronze antilope that we bought at the camp while we were on safari in southern Burkina, some beads that caught my eye at the market and a wooden statue of an earth priest and a Winyé mask-dancer that was carved by a mask-maker in Boromo that JP knows. Behind these things is an embossed picture made out of recycled aluminum cans. It’s by an artist from Nigeria. I met his daughter at last year’s film festival here,, as the paper project had a stand near hers at the craft market there. I stared at the pictures for the whole week of the festival and had to buy some on the last day.
I guess my point is, I can’t have a “decorated” house because all of our stuff is too meaningful to part with. There are no doubt design elements and accessories that would look a lot more elegant, but they wouldn’t make any sense to us. So, maybe our place is cluttered and looks like it was decorated by a dyslexic, color-blind pack-rat. (I think that is JP’s considered opinion). I think it looks like home

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