Six weeks ago, I was contacted with an unusual request: to send over a collection of my paintings for an exhibition at a mall in Shanghai. The theme was lipstick, and as one of few artists working in this unusual medium, they wanted me to send some pieces over to them.
There was a lot of back and forth, and my initial plan to send mounted work proved way too expensive. Luckily, I have plenty of unmounted pieces to spare (some of which I’m tempted, from time to time, to throw out) and those were the ones that ended up going.
Even the spare pieces I sent along as protection for the other work ended up getting used – so a painting of a bongo at the Johannesburg Zoo, combined with images from the Cradle of Humankind – is achieving fame of a sort on the other side of the world.
Seeing these images is amazing, if only because there was a time when I really didn’t think any of my work would ever get there. The paintings aren’t for sale – I’m renting them out for a month – and at the end of the exhibition, they’ll be sent back. But this is something unexpected and wonderful and I am grateful.