Tag Archives: Khyber Pass

Going Back

1 Apr

R. Davies 'Let Peace Prevail'

In a few hours I’ll be starting my journey from little Wales to great big Pakistan. It’s a return journey for me; I visited in 2007 and I loved it so much that I’ve always wanted to go back, but life got in the way. So now I’m off to be an artist-in-residence in Rawalpindi for most of April. Last time I visited I travelled up the Khyber Pass to the border with Afghanistan. This is a large monotype I did from a tiny sketchbook drawing, standing on a hill in Pakistan with a bunch of jolly soldiers (the Khyber Rifles), looking down at Tamurlaine’s ancient fort and the Afghan border and waving at the drones going overhead. I’ve called it ‘Let Peace Prevail’ because just behind me was a sculpture erected by schoolchildren with ‘Let Peace Prevail’ written on it and it really moved me.

Afghan refugee children

As we travelled back towards Peshawar, I took a photo of a family of Afghan refugees returning back home, looking very happy and I used it as the inspiration for this monotype. I didn’t know at the time that the situation in Afghanistan was set to become much worse. I often wonder if these children were able to resettle safely back home or if they ended up as refugees once more.

I’m very excited to be returning as the country and it’s people inspired me so much last time. I’ll be blogging my journey every day, but might miss a blog or two while I’m travelling. See you in a day or so. 🙂

My residency has been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales.
rose acw

Nearly There

11 Mar

R. Davies 'Let Peace Prevail'(Above: The Afghan Border from Mitchni Post in the Khyber Pass)

Yesterday I made a 300 mile round trip to Birmingham to submit my documents for a visa to Pakistan. I’ve been offered a residency to work with a group of international artists to produce a group show, culminating in an exhibition in Islamabad.  I visited Pakistan about 7 years ago and I absolutely loved the place! It’s beautiful, cultured and the people are so warm and friendly. It was one of those life-changing experiences and I’ve been keen to return. Oh and the food is fantastic.

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I did some drawings in my sketchbook while I was there and made a series of landscapes in full-colour monotype when I came back. They’re all based on tiny sketches except for the one of the Afghan children, which is based on a photograph taken in the Khyber Pass. The other three landscapes are based on drawings done at various places on a road trip up through the Karakoram mountain range to the Hunza Valley.

It’s been a difficult process applying for the visa, the amount of documentation has been enormous, I’ve made the trip to Birmingham twice (600 miles in all) and it’s expensive. Still, it’s reassuring that the checks are so thorough given the extent of terrorism across the world. The paperwork is now with the consulate where the final decision will be made.  Fingers crossed. I just can’t wait. I’m so excited!

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