Feedback from some of the 19-participant on a Ceramics-focussed tour led by Carol Gouthro, Seattle area
What is your greatest inspirational ‘takeaway’ from all that you experienced on the tour?
“Beautiful country, interesting people, great art, some we could relate to, some not, but in all we gained a broad picture as to what was happening, and there was a lot happening.”
“The safari in its rawness, and knowing that this is the cradle of mankind.”
“The art, the artists, and the politics.”
“I was inspired by the beauty of the landscape everywhere we went, the creativity of the artists and artisans, and the warmth, generosity and camaraderie of the people we met everywhere we travelled. I was also deeply touched by the ongoing struggle South Africans face to reverse the effects of apartheid and promote more equality for everyone.”
In what way(s) has this travel experience altered your perspective about South Africa?
“My perspective on South Africa has been altered and educated. Before my arrival, I was totally at a loss of what I might expect. I was surprised at the visual, sophisticated nature of your cities and its culture. I loved the wonderful food, art,
rich history and its heroes, and the native people that give the visual legacy to South Africa. I also love the smiles of the ordinary citizens on the street, and I felt a simple kindness in them.”
“I was surprised with how sharing all the artists were. The quality of art is amazing. A strong sense of conservation and recycling/reuse. The history of the tribes, the complex relationship between the different groups such as White, Coloured, Indian and Black. The Constitutional Court of South Africa moved me in so many ways—the art and the windows at street level to be connected to the people, which was brought home to us by the school children running by.”
“The trip was very much a learning experience as we had little firsthand knowledge of the land, the people, how the country was evolving, etc… guide Darryl gave some excellent talks. The discrepancy between rich and poor was blatant. It was shocking to witness the security measures people felt compelled to make. The high walls with razor and electric wires, with security companies offering armed response.”
“I have travelled a lot and seen a lot of places and always it is the people that make the difference. Marion did a wonderful job of introducing us to the artists and getting us into their homes, workshops, etc. I knew there were good artists in South Africa, but the art and craft exceeded my expectations. I now know that South Africa is a deeply rich, interesting country with amazing art, culture and craft. I want to see more of it and do not think of it as the scary place we hear about on the news reports.”
What words best describe your experience of South Africa over the past several weeks?
Intense, beautiful, amazing, exciting, unexpected, fascinating, complex, artistically extraordinary, wonderful, educational.