I was thinking as I was driving my tram yesterday, that I would like to record all the amazing, weird, different and surprising places I have lived over the many years. I have lived in a variety of different domains with a variety of different people and out of these changing environments my artwork has no doubt been influenced to reflect this. So if you are interested to come on this journey, you never know, we may have crossed paths in the past.
I can only assume that growing up in Zambia has played a large part in influencing my being, both as an artist and my outlook on life generally. I was lucky enough to have quite a free childhood, so my imagination ran wild. I made up my own games, toys and friends. People were inventive and what was needed was built, recycled and resourced from what was around.
The farm where I lived, Zambia
I was aware of the poverty around me as well as the sunshine, the bush and the lovely energy of the people. Women pounding the corn kernels to make mealie meal and scrawny chickens running about the yard. Thatched roofs, whitewashed walls and dirt paths that crisscrossed through the tall grass that burned with a redness and intensity that was only matched by the deep green shoots of grass that would later grow through the black ash. I was particularly affected by the living conditions of many of the children, that even as a child myself, left an indelible mark.
Myself, my sister and our friends playing in the garden.
A child lies, Zambia
Begging for Food, Saren Dobkins, Charcoal on Paper, 1982
Dinner Parties with Ease, Saren Dobkins, Photo sikscreen, 1982
The Blind Singer, Saren Dobkins, Oil on Board, 1986
Market vendors, Ndola Zambia