Rwanda -- a country full of mysterious beauty and magnificent vistas also hold mements in its history so dark you wish you could erase their haunting images from your mind. I have visited this country several times, but during a recent safari, we visited an old church. As I stood alone starring at shelves cradling the skeletal remains of over 150 people, I could not move. They had sought sanctuary there, but were instead murdered during the Genocide of 1994. When I was there, many of their relatives had just arrived and stood outside sobbing for the loss of their loved ones on that horrifying day. These souls reached out to me -- they changed my life forever.
From there, I traveled to the mountains of the Virunga volcanoes and sat with a family of the rarest of all the gorilla species -- the mountain gorilla. The leader of the group -- the silverback -- sat with something heavy in his mind and the idea for my newest gorilla painting was born in that contemplative moment.
If we live long enough, we will experience deep loss -- it is a price we must pay for being alive. Often a small sign can ignite a precious memory and transport us back to a moment we shared with our loved ones. In my painting, The Silverback has just picked a Pyrethrum flower (grown in Rwanda as a natural insecticide). In this profound moment, when he was alone with his thoughts, I wondered if he was recalling a "Memory of a Lost Love." - JB
John Banovich - Memory of a Lost Love
Product Code: BANME1
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