I was invited last week by the director of the Constitutional Education Programme, Paula Rainha, who found me through Urban Sketchers, to come and draw with a group of children from Hillbrow at the beautiful Constitutional Court. Previously the notorious Old Fort Prison Complex, it was a place of fear, misery and loathing in the years before our democratic changes. Unfortunately I saw the email too late to attend every afternoon of 'Kidsweek', but joined the oldest group of 12-15 year olds on Friday.They then separated into smaller groups around and outside the building and were given clipboards with paper, pencils, pastels and crayons.
Meet the Correspondent: Omar Jaramillo > Berlin$show=/search/label/Omar%20Jaramillo
"I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where I studied architecture. I moved to Kassel (Germany) in 1999 to accomplish a master degree. Although I have always drawn and paint, it was not until I started studying in the Uni-Kassel, that I started keeping a travel sketchbook. I had a teacher there who used to do a lot of sketches when he travelled on university excursions. When he retired, I helped to organize an exhibition of his sketches. He brought a huge box full of sketchbooks he had filled since he was an architecture student. I spent a whole day selecting the most interesting drawings. It was a wonderful experience that opened my eyes to a new world. In the last 10 years I have the feeling of being in a long journey. I like to discover the cities where I live, to understand why a place is the way it is and what makes it different and unique from others. Drawing is for me a way to learn to love a place, to become part of it. I like to draw architecture but I am more attracted to urban scenery, portraying how people live in the city. Since I’m a foreigner, everything that locals find normal and taken-for-granted, for me is exotic. I always carry a small watercolor travel set from Windsor and Newton and my sketchbook in my bag. I always thought that drawing was a solitary experience until I found Urban Sketchers. It was amazing to find so many people doing the same thing. It is a great place to share!" • Omar's blog. • Omar's art on flickr. • Omar's website.