Our family has just returned home from Cambodia where we spent a couple of weeks with 150 amazing kids at an orphanage in Phnom Penh. Most of these kids are orphans and have been rescued, often around the age of 5 or 6, from living on the garbage dumps just outside of the city. The orphanage is a very uplifting place covered in decorations and photos of visiting friends who have helped this organization over the years. At the the head of this family of 150 children is an extraordinary man, Sokha who, along with his wife, look after and imbue these kids with love and a startling sense of self worth and respect not just for themselves but each other as well.
One of the projects we did with them was to write and illustrate your dream. What the future might hold if their dreams come true. The kids are all very clear about wanting to get educated and each have very clear ideas already about becoming doctors, engineers, english teachers, etc. At the Center for Children's Happiness, they are educated and many are eligible for scholarships to universities upon graduating high school. I have never experienced a more harmonious, kind and grateful group of young children in my life. We did artwork, photography, read books, sang and generally just spent time getting to know as many as we could. Our last night with them we had a party in the small cement courtyard of the Center. The kids danced and sang with such joy. It was so triumphant, so inspiring to experience. I will never forget it. This kind of happiness and gratitude maybe only comes from those who have been given a second chance at life.
The first 3 photos of the garbage dump below were taken by Sambath, one of the promising young photojournalists who lives at CCH. The photos below do not show the magnitude or the actual number of those living at the dumps. There are about 900 people who live and work there, picking through the city's refuse for recyclables and food. The two american girls in the photos are my daughters. To find out more about CCH and how you can help...http://www.cchcambodia.org/index.html
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
On our trip to Southern Thailand we came across this limestone cave which doubled as a dwelling for local Buddhist Monks. They lived very simply underneath an immense limestone overhang. Upon the walls were very old paintings. The seasonal rains had worn down the paint creating this beautiful surface -part stone, part paint. The monks lived here and as they do not value possesions did not mind us photographing them. They had very little. Their orange robes drying on a line, old books, a clock some basic kitchen items. Each monk slept in one of these small houses, just big enough to lay down in. In Buddhist countries you often see monks. Rarely, however, does one get a peek into the personal, the intimate aspects of their lives. Lives of committed simplicity and quiet contemplation.
Posted by Nicholas Wilton at 3:24 AM
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
We are in Thailand right now. Last night we walked down the beach and came to this huge stretch of beach that looked like someone had made hundreds of abstract drawings all over the beach. It turned out that it was actually a small neighborhood of burrowing crabs that were simply rolling up balls of sand and pushing them out of their holes in the sand. The tropical breeze would shift directions re arranging them into these beautiful shapes.
Posted by Nicholas Wilton at 3:49 AM
Sunday, July 4, 2010
So often Ads in magazines for shows or announcements fall short- either the color or the design is off or sometimes the opposing page has some disastrous image on it that clashes with your own work. I was very impressed with this ad that The Costello Childs Gallery http://www.costellochildsart.com/index.html is running in the new magazine "Luxe" http://www.luxemagazine.com/digital-editions/This is a fabulous very high end design and interiors publication. The artist's from Left to Right are Erik Gonzales, Chuck Johnson, Nicholas Wilton and Patricia Sannit.
Posted by Nicholas Wilton at 8:42 AM
Friday, July 2, 2010
Another fantastic week at Esalen. We stayed up till 3 am painting every night, ate more than our share of chocolate and wine, created amazing artwork, laughed a tremendous amount and from the steaming hot springs, watched the moon come up over the Big Sur mountains. Thank you all! We will post the dates of the next Esalen workshop up as soon as we finalize it--most likely Spring 2011.
Posted by Nicholas Wilton at 11:29 PM