The Exhibition Visions of Grace reflects my experience in three African communities over the past five years. 

As an artist and educator, I worked with Samburu and Maasai tribes in North Eastern Kenya. My work illustrates both everyday life – the red earth, the dry vegetation, livestock, school children, warriors and a rich cultural history. These images celebrate the pastoralists’ respect for humanity, reverence for the natural environment, and their profound sense of identity.

In Port Elizabeth, South Africa, I taught drawing and collage to students in Joe Slovo Township. The Xhosa people welcomed me into school and family life. Against an immense backdrop of bright blue sky, repurposed plastic, metal and wood, and seemingly limitless dirt roads, I was captivated by the vibrancy and light in Joe Slovo. My work captures a sense of distance and the experience of looking into the township’s vast layers of shacks, while conveying a community’s spirit of pride, generosity and openness.

The grace of those I encountered and the depth of their traditions moved me, visually and emotionally. Through a process of combining my photographs with paint, charcoal and pastel, I capture the visual narratives of people in everyday life: the strength, vibrancy, joy, curiosity, power and wisdom of the people I meet and their environments.

Elizabeth Brown Eagle © 2014 website design EAF