CAP SAMY ART GALLERY
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|SHEILA MARKHAM'S BIOGRAPHY|
I was born in England in 1945, but spent most of my childhood in Tanzania. I went to school there, then went to England and got a place at the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham, Wiltshire. In 1968, I left England with a degree in Fine Art and came to join my family which had left Tanzania and settled in Seychelles. I stayed for as long as I could, painting and drawing and absorbing the sights, scents and sounds of this place, knowing that to earn a living I would have to leave. I left in 1970. I went to South Africa, and worked there in the very different world of graphic design in Johannesburg.
There I married and had two children, now living in England and convinced their mother is completely eccentric. Luckily for me they have been able to accept with humour and understanding that it was necessary for me to return to the islands. Here I have been since 1987, living in the house my parents built on the hillside above my gallery, painting and making paper sculptures, visited occasionally by my family which now includes a stepson-in-law and a grandson.
For seven years I taught art at the local government school in Baie Ste. Anne. Here I got to know a little of the ways and character of the Praslinois children and their families. To this day they provide me with ideas for paintings of their parties, weddings and dances. I learned to speak their language, and eventually was granted Seychellois citizenship. Every couple of years I go back to England to see the galleries, to buy materials, to get cool for a few weeks, then I head home to Praslin with suitcases full up with new ideas, new books, new music and new clothes, which have to last me until the next time. I am fortunate to have this refreshing contact with Europe as well as the deep and unfailing source of images and motifs which springs up all around me in the colours of the vegetation, of the sea and in the life of the Creole people of Praslin.