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MAURITIUS EXPLORE
» 30 Nov 2012
PEM

Simple, colorful and unique clothes adorn him but an ever-colorful radiance emanates from his heart through his eyes and contagious laughter. Away from materialism, Pem is someone special who touches the hearts of hundreds who are true to themselves and do not judge but open their eyes to admire living art.  As a laborer, he was carrying out some digging in the 80s and he dug out a root from the ground. Intrigued, he saw the face of a person in the root.

That night, he carved his new found joy and the next day his friends told him he had carved the face of Nelson Mandela. Pem had never seen or heard of the latter. He went on to sell his sculpture for Rs 25 out of familial obligation. That money was equivalent
to a whole week's pay. He doesn't regret because this gesture encouraged him to follow his passion and get him to where he is today.

WORK OF ART

Laughing away, he counted how he then got into a sculpting frenzy without really knowing why. He couldn't go out without tools anymore and when-ver he saw pieces of wood, he would impulsively desire to carve them on the spot. This one time, during a family outing, he got so engrossed into a root on the beach; he took the first bus home to carve only to later realize he had forgotten his wife and children on the beach!

A similar incident took place in front of a hotel and tourists quickly started surrounding him. It is only then that he found out that his work was appreciated and that people called what he was doing a sculpture and work of art, words totally unknown to
him! The former hotel director of Verandah, Jean-Michel Pitot Sr, told him that what he was doing was wrong.

Pem said he'd move away only before hearing the end of the sentence... He had misunderstood the invitation of the director; it was wrong to carve on the beach but right to carve within the hotel and sell his sculptures. He did so for 20 years!

The conquered hearts kept intriguing Pem, he was only giving life to pieces of wood and yet everyone seemed subjugated. His gratitude carries through his tone of voice.. "The directors of Caudan Waterfront always spend some time with me; not a single one walks past without spending a few minutes chatting with me!"

BLISSFUL

The gentle heart would love to expose his work and ask for fees to visit. He sells his works of art but insisted on me publishing how sad he is whilst parting away. A woman is in pain when she gives birth but holding her child means everything to her, how-ever with me it's the other way round, conceiving it is blissful but parting away is painful. All his works are unique and fully natural without glue nor nails.

If you happen to be around Caudan Waterfront, walk towards the Blue Penny Museum and you will see Pem’s garden of art in its pure beauty. We would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his work, Someone rightly told him, “The day that Pem will be no more, Caudan will never be the same.”

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