After a fortnight of travelling, sleeping in so many different beds that I no longer unpack my bags, travelling on jalopy cow killing buses (and other challenges that you will never read in public but if you buy me a nice a bottle of wine, a foot massage and get yourself over here I might share…) I arrived in Siem Reap. It was the perfect time for me to arrive with my nerves still jangled, the art and colour of this small but vibrant town settled near the banks of the Tonle Sap lake, welcomed me with open arms and provided a medicine I didn’t know I needed and an inspiration I desperately sought.
The last few days of the Angkor Art Expo were in full swing, the youth and vitality of the people drawn here infectious. People like Loven of 1961, Jam of Art Deli and Marika Constantino who paints gloriously seductive and decorative images and also doesn’t cry when an alligator flicks her off her moto!
Many of these photographs are from the closing party of the Expo located at the gallery space above Circle Boutique. When we arrived the creative tribe were circling the white walls with pots of paint, when we left the walls were anything but white and we, my daughter is visiting, left our own marks in remembrance of those we have lost ourselves.
Siem Reap with the people, the galleries, the slow moving river and twisting side streets is spirited, strong and brave. Just make sure you wear your sunglasses when walking around to deflect eye contact from the slightly too motivated Tuk Tuk drivers, if I get offered one more Tuk Tuk here I swear I will learn to curse in Khmer!!