HELLO, AFRICA #1: Journal of Barbadian Artist’s residency in Cape Town, ZA – Sheena Rose Documentary
I found out that I was accepted to an artist residency called Greatmore Art Studios located in Cape Town, South Africa. I was really excited and ready to go. To tell you the truth, it was really stressful getting all of my documents and vaccines for the trip. I finally got through with all of it and fully packed!
May 3rd was the day, I had to leave Barbados to go to South Africa. I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to Cape Town and also flying for 20 hours. My dad came along with me to London to make sure that I take all of the correct couches from Gatwick airport to Heathrow international airport to depart to Cape Town. This was my first time ever in London. It was so beautiful and cold. When I reach Heathrow airport, I had to wait for few hours to check in. While I was waiting, reality was clicking to me that I was really staying in Cape Town for three months and I would miss my lovely Barbados, family and friends. I started to feel kind of sad but I know that this opportunity would be excellent for my art development. It was time for me to check in and I hug my dad at the departure gate. I started to cry, just knowing that I am leaving him and I am really on my own.
I sat in the waiting room, anticipating to hear my flight number for the departure gate. I wanted to find out more information about the departure gate location. I asked the lady who sat behind me and a question. She explained and we both returned to our business. Just sitting and waiting there, kept me thinking about my family and friends. I started to feel lonely and a little depress. Suddenly, I felt a touch on my shoulder; it was the same lady who I asked a question. She was offering me a slice of pizza. I told her no thanks, but she politely insisted to take one. I took one and we began to have a conversation. The lady name was Cheryl and her friend next to her, name was Chris. I introduce myself and told them that I was an artist from Barbados.
I heard my gate number announce and I started to walk towards it. I saw Cheryl and Chris started to walk as well. I asked ” Where are you going?” She smile and say “I am going to Cape Town too, we both have the same flight.” We both smile at each other and enter the airplane. From there, I knew that I would never feel lonely again. I knew that I will be alright!
Cape Town!!! Finally I make it, 8 hours of flying to London and then 12 hours to Cape Town. At the airport, I met the taxi whose name was Auriol. While we were driving, she briefly explained to me, the history of Cape town. It was interesting to hear who settle it. She also explained to me that they are three groups of race here in Cape town. There are Whites, Blacks and Colored. “Colored?” I asked Auriol, “What was colored?” She told me that color is people that are mixed with black and white. That was the first time I ever heard Color describe that way. I also thought that it was strange and yet sad too that there were literally three groups that divided from each other.
I was getting a little impatient to see what Greatmore Art Studios looked like. It was located in Greatmore Street, Woodstock. I finally met Kate Tarrat-Cross, the director of Greatmore Art Studios and the two other members Gary Frier and Mishkaah Roberts. They were really cool people. Mishkaah show me around the area and I saw my studio that I will be producing some new work for the next three months. It was my first time that I ever had my own studio, it was spacious and I could imagine the amount of work done in there. I was really excited to get some new work done.
I was looking forward to tell all of my family and friends, my experience in Cape Town.
(Watch out! more to come, about Sheena Rose’s life in South Africa)