Picture took me right back to the classroom
UNLESS you have been on Mars, you will have noticed there are some terrible things happening in the Middle East and North Africa to name but two, and I would not wish to swap places with those with a Finger on the Button, neither would I fancy living among the turmoil, dodging bombs or picking up pieces.
On a personal note, my brilliant and brave nephew, is currently waiting in Jordan, for his visa to get into Yemen, where he is to work for an NGO monitoring refugees.
He’s done the same work in Iraq over the past three years, and his new posting is a promotion.
I don’t think my sister sees it that way and I am sure she is secretly delighted that the visa is being delayed, especially as it means he’ll be home for Christmas.
Unfortunately these days, even if you live in rural Padfield, in the Peak District National Park, you cannot pretend to be once removed and distant from the likes of Syria or Iraq, as modern day communications, transport and weapons, make it a mere stone’s throw away...
When I was at secondary school I remember being fascinated by photographs and stories of the various tribes and cultures of these troubled regions, not least because our teacher had been posted to India and Africa during the Second World War and he was able to bring the people to life during his lessons.
He talked affectionately about the Berber people of North Africa, and in particular of the stunningly beautiful women.
It’s funny the things you remember from school, and it all came back to me recently when artist Gordon Clegg, who used to repair washing machines for a living in Hadfield, delivered a collection of his drawings to the Laughing Badger Gallery for his current exhibition.
When I unwrapped the Berber Girl, seen here, created with pencil crayons over 40 hours, I was instantly transported back to the classroom of long ago, my great storytelling teacher and his collection of photographs from the National Geographic Magazine pinned to the walls of my youth.
Truth is, I fell in love with this beautiful girl, and when I posted her image on Facebook, so did hundreds of others, and although this might sound naïve, wouldn’t it be great if we could all travel safely to these places again.
In the meantime her eyes follow me around the gallery every day, and continue to attract much admiration and attention.
Of all the artists to exhibit so far, Gordon’s have created the most conversation and readers are very welcome to come and have a look themselves over the next few weeks.
The coffee is always on but give me a shout on 07736 175866 in case I’m off chasing birds and mammals.
The Laughing Badger Gallery, 99 Platt Street, Padfield, Glossop
●● Gordon Clegg’s the Berber Girl, created with pencil crayons, is exhibited at Sean Wood’s Laughing Badger gallery.