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  • Damien Nelson

The Family Heirloom

Updated: Jan 30

There are a couple of paintings I remember from my childhood. There was a painting of a group of northern musicians playing the xylophone, flute and drums hanging above the bar place, framed in a hard wood curved edge frame. That painting looked so alive you could almost hear the music. I remember recreating it for an art competition in JSS. It must have not been very good, because I don’t remember winning.


The second painting was this beautiful piece. A nude of a young lady sleeping. The green hues, gradient and texture all made an impression on me even back then. I remember what really fascinated me were her waist beads and pointy nipples. It hanged in my aunts living room in East cantonments. Overtime my uncle took possession of it and for a period it wasn’t to be seen.



I found it rotting away many years later in storage under the staircase. Dusty and without its original frame, I couldn’t believe my luck. My little sister added insult to injury by coloring over it with a black marker. (If you look closely you can see some of those marks.)

Eventually i got an artist friend to clean it up and restore it to its current state of which I am very pleased.


It has found a new home directly above my bed and I foresee it staying for a long time. Well, till it’s ready to be handed down to the next generation.



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