hachwinik

My name is Gill Eatherley - I am of British nationality. A teacher, filmmaker, artist and art curator, I live in France. After teaching painting and drawing to adults and children for many years in France I went to Mexico and found myself in the Lacandon rainforest in Nahá surrounded by a group of children who had never had the opportunity to put paint to cloth or crayon to paper. For the last 13 years I have been taking materials to Nahá as a volunteer and preserving some of their work. I try to fill a gap for children without much schooling. These workshops are an activity important to them. Each time I go away from Nahá I leave behind what materials are left over. I hope next year to find someone to continue the workshops on a durable basis, but without funding or a permanent work area this has been difficult. The conditions for living and working are not easy. The donations of pens from Sakura Bruynzeel and crayons from Caran D'Ache have been vital to the children's creativity but all other materials I have financed myself. In 15 years of teaching art to children and adults in Europe I have never experienced such lengths of concentration and willingness to draw and paint as in Nahá. Although these children had had very little or no contact with paint or images in books, their spontaneous subjects included the Mayan pyramids that they had visited with their parents, the rich iconography that is found in them, and all the details of the forest that only they can see and are invisible to us. Their reaction to the mixing of blue and yellow primary color to produce green color was as rewarding to me as it was magical to them.