Travels with my Art

Paintings and Photographs inspired by Travels Around the World

Dadas at the fish market in Dar Es Salaam

Dadas at the Fish Market

Dadas at the Fish Market

I’ve been painting this picture in my head for months now.

The Kivukoni Fish Market in Dar Es Salaam is always busy. Both inside and outside the market walls there are scores of people; inside fishermen and traders huddle together around the many different catches of the day, outside house dadas dressed in brightly printed kangas effortlessly balance buckets of fish on the heads, while they navigate the Tanzanian traffic jams of bejajs, piki-pikis, buses, taxis, bicycles and yet more people.

Whenever every time I go past I take a mental snapshot and try to remember the colours and shades of the scene so at some point in the future I can convert the memories to sketchbook and ultimately to canvas. The only problem is that when I am not teaching full time or doing work at home or looking after my three children or tidying the house, I don’t always have as much time as I would like to to sketch and paint.

However, for the last few days I have decided to rejig my never-ending list of to-dos, and put ‘do some art’ at the top of the list, rather than the bottom, that way I actually get round to doing some… even if it does mean a couple of chores don’t get done.

There are still more paintings to come… but I thought I would share this one with you – just to get the ball rolling. And here is some more pictures in progress.

Starting to convert memory to sketchbook and canvas

Starting to convert memory to sketchbook and canvas

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  1. anagalicblog February 18, 2017

    I found your picture very graphically so please continue your work and share it with us. Also see if there’s a chance to do some exibit.

  2. lenalimhamn February 18, 2017

    Thank you! Love your art! Always longing for more

  3. Ann February 18, 2017

    The simplicity of the Dada’s at the Fish market,says it all. So evocative of life in Africa..Love it all. Thank you, Happy memories. Just sorry that N and Q too young to remember the details.Your three will ! xx

  4. ArtReach February 19, 2017

    It is hard to make time for art. I’m glad you did! I love the vibrant colors.

  5. healingpilgrim February 19, 2017

    Beautiful Ali. I especially love the lines and color of the Dada at the front; so much movement! Who are these Dadas – are they mothers or like Indian wallahs, delivery-people? So glad you’ve squeezed time in during your busy day to paint and share 😉

    • Ali Dunnell February 19, 2017

      Hello healing pilgrim. Thanks for the positive comments about my painting. Dada in Swahili means sister and is how people refer to women, men are kaka – older women are mama. House dadas are women employed in households 😃 Ali

      • healingpilgrim February 20, 2017

        Wow, so that’s it.. thanks Ali! I’m familiar with Dada in another context (art), but there’s also a primitive beauty and simplicity in these Swahili terms.
        Interesting that kaka = men; a similar word, kaki = foot (in Indonesian)… both words, if used in (polite!) English company, would typically trigger blushing faces or howls of laughter 😉

  6. respectofmyself February 23, 2017

    What a lovely picture. Living in Namibia I can actually see the hard work of the woman but also the chatting they do and calmness and energy you feel around them in your picture.

    • Ali Dunnell February 24, 2017

      Thank you so much. It never ceases to amaze me how elegant these women are as they carry these buckets and walk through the chaotic traffic. Living in Namibia must be great. Have you visited the desert while you have been there? In photographs it looks amazing. Ali

      • respectofmyself February 24, 2017

        It looks really amazingly elegant, you are right. I actually live right next to the Namib Desert, in Swakopmund where desert meats sea. Especially if mist covers the tips of the dunes and the sun just goes up in the morning we have a magical landscape.

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