From Emile Ralambo's Paintings on Exhibit at the Virtual Museum

Here, women collect fresh water from the shallows of a river in long bamboo containers. The water is contained in the hollow area between bamboo sections. The vegetation and the women's clothing indicate the scene is coastal, probably from the Betsimisaraka (east coast). Ralambo's image is again the romanticized rural scene, and is reminiscent of European hand tinted botanical etchings.

Collection: Norwegian Missionary Society


Lemurian Collection
Work of Jenny Aaarts.

Lemurian Sands, Seas, Grove

seas, endless seas, roll in, break, foam, on sand, roll back, roar anguish, sigh pleasure
gain strength, roll forward, forever, roll back, sands shift, form patterns, in rhythm, constant, changing

from rock to rockpool, teeming with life
pounded by waves, is sand renewed; black, brown, red, yellow, soft and white

sands filter time, as dreams sift sleep

leaves, whispers, trees, swayings, roots deep in earth
tell ancient truths on, and on, patterns, change
sea, sand, leaves, truths

The Mask

the mask hides
not eyes
eyes betray all through the narrow windows
of a mask

look at the eyes to see
are they calm and reflective like deep pools?
do they hiss like fat in a hot pan?
are those chilled-marble snake eyes
dead-pan and deadly?

madness sparks red-fire through sinister slits

the eyes you cannot hide

Sea Shell Dance Floor

Walking through the seashell door, I can't see where I'm going, because the entrance curves gently all the way around to the hidden interior, but the mother-of-pearl surface is smooth and sensuous to walk on.

It cools my sand-baked feet, and tempts me to join the merry company of dancers already twirling and pirouetting to a lively tune on the shell's curled rim.
There is no question of refusal. Dance I must.

Blue, turquoise and green sea-colours of the transparent, luminous shell-floor shimmer and change subtly with every step the dancers take, whirling madly like a kaleidoscope when the music is fast and demanding, softening to a mere glimmer when the tempo becomes slow, moody and deep with romance, and the dancers gaze into each others eyes to see what magic they can find there.

I drift in the arms of a dream-dancer, floating on a wash of sea-colours. We dance down through the shell, our faces barely touching.

Deep inside the shell, sea-sounds echo softly off delicate pearl-hued walls, translucent like fine bone china. When the dancing is over, the sea-music sings me to sleep, curled in the apex of the shell in my sea-lover's arms.



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