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"The guest house where I stayed for my first few days was a modern building on the side of a hill at the back of the town; it was clean and friendly but quite expensive. The thing to strike me most on my walk down into town on my first morning was the distinctive style of many of the older buildings, which were mainly built of wood and often with high pitched corrugated iron roofs. The down town area I also found interesting, though for the most part quite run down, with many of the streets unpaved and turned into a muddy mess by recent heavy rain. The 'Iron' market, so called because of the use of iron in its construction was a fascinating place to visit with people selling just about anything from local fruits and live animals, to suitcases made from old petrol cans. A complete showcase of the Haitian genius for making something out of nothing. One thing that did soon become plain, was that despite being one of the world's poorest countries it was far from being cheap, with imported goods, including many foods and milk, costing much more than they would in the UK.   

 

A nice thing I found in Haiti was the interest in art with painting being almost a national pastime. Surprising I thought for a people so poor, but everywhere I went I saw paintings on display, mostly painted in oils using very bright colours and a very vivid sense of imagination; some of them were really good. I felt it a lot easier for me to sit and paint without feeling I was an oddity.

 

One problem at times was the language, a type of Creole French which even a French Canadian lady, staying at the guest house, said she could not understand. Luckily most people spoke a few words of English and tried to be helpful, and so I got by without any real trouble." - MH

Old mansion which is now a school, Port-au-Prince, 1976

£2.99Price
  • All items are produced from original paintings by Martyn Hanks.

    Prints:Size is A4 (8.27" x 11.69"/210 x 297mm). Printed onto high quality 245gsm fine art watercolour paper to give the print an authentic look and feel. Supplied in a textured off white mount size 12" x 16" (305 x 406mm), backed and sealed in a clear cellophane wrap and delivered in a protective carton to ensure it reaches you in perfect condition.

    Cards: Size 7" X 5"/178 x 127mm. Packaged in a clear cellophane wrap with a top quality 150gsm self-seal white envelope.

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