Tropical bouquet

Tropical bouquet0001

Diana Newton
Tropical bouquet, 1983
Lino cut
(8.3 x 12.2 inches)
(21 x 31 cm)

This was intended to illustrate a collection of short stories, entitled "Tropical Bouquet". I've never been very good at linocuts, but the technique, with its inherent reductionism and reverse imagery, has always appealed to me ever since my father showed me how to use a chisel to cut into a block of linoleum. I started writing the stories in Botswana during my UN volunteer days, typing away on a clunky old typewriter, on evenings and weekends. Where is that old (incomplete) manuscript? I haven't been able to find it. Maybe it's for the best as I suspect I would be embarassed by my awkward writing. Still, I remember the joy of trying to portray a cabinet minister tired of travelling, cap in hand, around the world to request loans and investments for his country and longing to visit his elderly father in his home village, as well as a doctor determined, despite endless red tape, to add an operating theatre to his small clinic in the middle of the Kalahari desert, and my determination to depict a self-important expatriate woman wrapped up in an artificial life of tea parties and charity projects but oblivious to the challenges and aspirations of her Batswana neighbors. Who knows? Maybe some day I'll start again from scratch.