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Remember that our next talk takes place tomorrow evening, Tuesday 21 July at 7:00pm, when Laurence Impey and Catherine Chambers will chat about their experiences of living and working in Lalibela - there won’t be much discussion about the churches. Anne Parsons, who has been travelling to Lalibela since 1995, will be moderating the discussion.
Book via Eventbrite and you'll be sent a link to the Zoom meeting.

Laurence Impey lived in Lalibela for three months between November 2016 and February 2017, working as a volunteer English teacher. He lived in a rented house, with security guard, and sent regular letters home to his local church, St. Martin's, which they published in their Newsletter. On his return he published a small book documenting his trip, largely based on these letters, Abyssinia Revisited: Letters from Lalibela.

Abyssinia Revisited: Letters from Lalibela
ISBN 9781913036775
Published by Iam Self-Publishing
May 2019
UK list price - £6.99.

Catherine Chambers is a London/Lalibela based artist, who featured in our Summer 2018 News File after one of her paintings, Girma, was accepted for the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Show. Catherine was also interviewed by the Ethiopian Embassy, London, about her Ethiopian paintings and about the family she lives with in Ethiopia.
London Artist Paints For The Love Of Ethiopia - 2018 Interview

The Embassy also hosted I Appreciate You, an exhibition of her work, in September 2019.

Catherine is selling some more of the preparatory sketches for her Ethiopian paintings as part of the Artist Support Pledge. The concept is that artists offer works to sell for no more than £200 each (not including shipping). Anyone can then buy the work. Every time the artist reaches £1000 of sales, the artist pledges to buy another artist's work for £200.

The works Catherine is offering are all original pencil or pen drawings, most made to plan her paintings, and are exhibited below. More details can be found on Catherine's @CChambersart Instagram page. For more information please email Catherine Chambers.

1.   Portrait of Zewdae - £200 (+postage)

Coloured pencil, 26.5 x 34.5cm drawing on A3 Heavyweight paper.

This portrait makes up half of Zewdea and Mantegoshe's double portrait, in which the women stare directly back at the viewer. It is "Look at them looking at us" from both positions.

2.   Portrait of Mantegoshe - £200 (+postage)

Coloured pencil, 26.5 x 34.5cm drawing on A3 Heavyweight paper.

This portrait makes up the second half of a double portrait I painted last year that was exhibited at the embassy of Ethiopia in London.
Mantegoshe is Yeabsra's great grandmother, I have been painting Yeabsra ever since I first met her. In my first painting of Yeabrsa she wears a pink dress (the colour of the wall in Mantegoshe's portrait) and the background is green (the colour of Mantegoshe's skirt) I like to link my works together in ways like this, I feel like it keeps them connected particularly when they go to new homes!


3.   Abi with chicken - £200 (+ postage)

Colour pencil, 24.5 x 32.5cm on A3 Heavyweight paper.

I have known Abi since before he could talk more than a few words, and together we picked up Amharic (Although he is now fluent and I am nowhere close) When I go back to visit, he continues to teach me, this drawing was with this in mind – he's a very strict teacher.

4.   Abi (portrait) - £200 (+ postage)

Colour pencil, 27.5 x 35.5cm on A3 Heavyweight paper.

Abi first appears in my large oil painting "For a Thousand Hopes - With Love" of his mother, Yeshi, with Abi asleep on her leg, and was exhibited at the Ethiopian Embassy

5.   Welcome to the family - £190 (+ postage)

Colour pencil, 27 x 32cm drawing on A3 Heavyweight paper.

My work has always considered visitors and outside influences, this is hinted at previously by televisions and telephones and other objects included in backgrounds. My current body of work pushes this further, and is more apparent.
This is a plan for a new painting, it is Ager's wedding, and I am a bridesmaid. We are in Lalibela, in rented western dress, sitting for the wedding photographer. When I saw the photos after, I reminded myself of the many mannequins in shop fronts all about the place.


6.   Self Portrait - £190 (+ postage)

Colour pencil drawing on A4 Heavyweight paper.

I am often asked what is my connection to Ethiopia, and recently I have begun to (shyly) introduce myself into some works. This is the first plan for a self portrait. It's in the early stages, but the idea for this portrait came the same day I was planning another painting, and it is to partner the oil painting "I'm Mengesha".

7.   Yeabsra (Plan 4) - SOLD

Coloured pencil, 29.5cm x 28cm drawing on A3 Heavyweight paper.

A plan for my current painting of Yeabsra, this is the last one available.
For these plans I was using photos I'd taken with Yeabsra. It wasn't until getting back to London and zooming in on the images I noticed we'd had an audience!
Yeabsra's uncle hosts an Airbnb and his guests were watching us nearby.
I think it's an interesting thought - what's a bit further than the bit you are given to see: in a photo is the obvious example, but also in any image/view, even in a story being told, what's highlighted and what's left out, and how all those choices effect the message received.
Although the tourist doesn't fit for my current "poster" painting of Yeabsra, this drawing is now inspiration for my next icon piece.
The tourist makes the remote Ethiopian town, Lalibela, a bit less remote and takes the story further...


8.   Girma - SOLD

Coloured pencil on A3 Heavyweight paper.

This drawing is another of Girma; When I was planning his oil painted portrait, we spent a day experimenting with place and composition.
This is one of his suggestions, I liked as it gives clues to his location (if you've ever been to the Amhara region I'm sure you'll have come across this style!)
I am sure this plan of Girma will crop up in a future work - most likely a character in another series similar to "A Brothers Progress" which actually Girma does appear in the third scene!
I didn't know much about Girma before I began his portrait, I knew enough to be drawn to him. When we first met he was a tailor. But he's been a soldier, a police man, a wanted man, a fashion designer, and he crops up in the occasional Ethiopian music video!
Girma's painted portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy or Arts Summer Exhibition in 2018 and now is in a private collection.

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