2019 ROSL International Residency recipient Cole Ndelu is a photographer and self-described 'visual communicator', who visited the UK last year with the support of ROSL, to exhibit at the Art House in Wakefield. Find out how she has been looking after herself, staying positive and making plans for when life gets back to normal.
I’ve spent the better part of my life learning how to stay calm and overcome difficulty, spent the better part of my life having to out think my environment, out smile my struggles, out dance discrimination, etc, etc. And this is what I view this pandemic as, a problem to out think and create myself out of. Just another barrier in the long line of barriers that I learnt how to jump over, the difference is that this barrier requires a different remedy, a lighter and more tender approach. It requires you to love your way out of it, to self care your way out of it and to be more tender to yourself than you’ve ever been. That means sleeping in sometimes and being fine with it, taking the time to pause to consider yourself and the impact that your action or inaction has on the next person and on the Earth, now more than ever it means listening to your body and giving it goodness and all your love and admiration - it needs it, it has been needing it for a long time.
So work on those projects that you were excited about shooting, keep seeing them in your mind and get excited about them because this will pass and you’re going to create again. Sharpen your skills, learn, listen and rest - you’re so much better at this when you’ve had eight hours sleep, mediated, journaled and had a good meal.
In the morning I had about a litre of water and a green smoothie filled with all kind of nutrients because food is medicine. I’ve been doing dance affirmations, where I literally dance around the house while reciting various affirmations - “Good morning love, good morning joy, good morning success, good morning to all the we call nature…” and I just keep going and going until I’m in within the good vibration. Until the good feeling and I are as close to one thing as can be. I stretch and journal while I have a cup of black coffee. I finally have a morning routine that I love so I really just go through it, making sure that everything I do feels good and keeps to my vision of living a life of love and ease.
Currently taking a few online classes, working on two short films that I cannot share the details of. My friends and I are planning some exciting projects and we’re doing it all over WhatsApp and Pinterest - sharing references and organising ourselves because a time after this pandemic is coming, a time when we can be together in the same space and create again is coming, and when it does we’re going to meet it with excitement, joy and magical enthusiasm that it deserves. I’m also sharing my work mainly on my Instagram page but I’m also updating my other profiles. Most of my work comes from photographing people, mainly commercial work and the other coming from exhibitions, prints and other commissions. I’m putting together my print catalogue which will be available upon request - the sale of a single print actually goes a long way, especially when it’s a direct sale. If you are interested in purchasing a print please do reach out.
I’m just trying to live in the calm of the storm, trying to make the silver lining home because death is with us everyday. We’re just a little more cognoscenti of it right now but it’s always there, it was there the day you were born. So I’m going to to keep creating, learning, dreaming, planning a vacation and and and taking precautions, monitoring my health, ensuring my general well-being and that of others when I can.
Meal of the day
Butternut soup with some kind of bread, I recommend something toasted. Something comforting, something that feels like the embrace of home. Be sure to add spices like ginger, turmeric and cayenne pepper to your foods - these are really good for your immune system.
Song of the day
I am supported, my immune system is strong and I am resilient.