While bargaining in Istanbul's grand bazaar for a small, sand-colored kilim I was met with an argument from an elderly carpet dealer who told me he had to fly to Philadelphia for his leg surgery, lamenting the lower standard of local care and the cost of the trip. Didn't I think the carpet was worth what he asked?! Fearful of offending him or even of appearing ungrateful for healthcare in the U.S., I settled on a higher price. In retrospect, I would have not been pressured in the least.
Today, Bussières acts as a traveling photographer with an anthropological methodology, and is stationed back and forth from Quebec to the north coast of California continuing to develop her projects. Her knowledge of social anthropology reminds her that a subject’s context is crucial to understanding their culture. She describes her artistic process as capturing and reconstructing moments in a way that both reflect emotions and realities, but still accounts for their unique contexts.
They were a way out of a life I wanted to escape. Eventually these things that I made were what gave life meaning. There was no question that this would be the focus of my days and nights. If this all sounds ridiculously narcissistic and introspective, it was, and is. But I look around more now, and the world is stranger than anything I've seen in any painting or fantasy novel. Much more interesting too.
Yes, this is Karachi. The city of lights, the city that never sleeps. What always mesmerized me was the fact that despite the quality of daily life, and the smell of fear, how resilient we are. If 18 people die in one day, we thank Allah that it wasn’t 80 and we would then find out if the roads were open so we could go about going our business-the very same day!
Life as they say is a journey of self discovery. But when it is taken with awareness and a purpose, the journey takes an existence of its own. Sometimes you resist the turns, other times you relish them. There are always pit stops but never an end.
A gallery of clever, elephant inspired caricatures and sculptures promoting elephant protection, hilltribe purses and bags with red pom poms and bright patterns, and contemporary paintings including anger-infused depictions of yellow shirts and red shirts representing the present political power struggle in Thailand and in Chiang Mai, referred to by some as "red-shirt country."