Monday, March 24, 2014

Cultural Clash!

Cultural Clash!

I am working in a journal that I created in a class at the Pacific NW Art School last May taught by Seth Apter called Memoire.  We created the journal pages by adhering dictionary ephemera onto watercolor paper. On each page we blocked out dictionary illustrations before adding texture and paint.  Once the paint was dry the blocked images were revealed.   I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate the dictionary illustrations with whatever art journaling I would do.

Fast forward ten months and after a delay of working in the Memoire journal, an email arrived from Seth announcing that he had recently teamed with Kathy Eldon, Dan Eldon's  mother on a project which looks at how Dan Eldon's life and journaling have affected others.  I immediately went to my bookshelf to find my copy of The Journey Is the Destination, the Journals of Dan Eldon.   I hope you have had the opportunity to see a journal created by Dan .  For those of you who do not know anything about Dan Eldon, he was a photojournalist working in Africa.   Dan was killed in Somalia in 1993 while he was on a photo assignment. He was only 22 years old.

Dan lived in Africa when he was young and had the opportunity to meet and befriend hundreds of people including members of the Masai.  Dan lead a life of helping others.  His travels and life are captured in seventeen journals that he kept since a young boy.  So when I started on this journal spread I wanted to include what I had read about Dan Eldon somehow.  I also wanted to include something about cultural and environmental clashes that man has with each other and with nature.

NPR did a segment this past year on work is being done with the Masai of Kenya.  The Masai were poisoning lions with pesticides as a solution to the lion threat on their wandering domesticated animals. My journal spread includes a Masai herder and it also includes an old illustration that I found which hints at the treatment of elephants.  I leave you to interpret this journal spread for yourself.

You can find out details on the new Dan Eldon project on Seth Apter's blog.

3 comments:

Connie Rose said...

Good story and very moving journal spread. I've seen a bit of Dan Eldon's work, via you, previously. I'm just shocked to learn that the Masai have been poisoning lions -- that seems like such a Western, non-native thing to do. Just horrifying. The only species I'd like to see become endangered is our own.

Brian Kasstle said...

This is a wonderful thought provoking spread John. Such a wonderful project.

Catherine R said...

I love that tree against the orange.