simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Shona Gallery
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Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Shona Gallery

For years I have passed by York's Shona Gallery at 99 Spring Street and enjoyed seeing a large group of carved teak giraffe towering in their window - who doesn't love giraffe? The window display is now different but the giraffe (from one to 14 feet tall) can now be found in the main gallery along with other African art objects. Click here for more photos of the gallery. The owner, Michael Ahuja, hails from New Delhi. His has been in this business since 1978 and opened the gallery at its current location in 1985. Shona houses an impressive collection of imported African art works from places like Zimbabwe, South Africa and Kenya: paintings, fabrics, masks, jewelry, instruments, crafts, iron and wooden sculptures. And an array of furniture carved from recycled African railroad sleeper bunks - these pieces are made from Jarrah, a species of Eucalyptus unique to the southwest of Western Australia. I love the furniture made from this spectacular hardwood known for its remarkable durability, extreme density and warm, deep mahogany-red color. Once seasoned, Jarrah is very tough (impossible to work with regular tools) and has been used for bridges, wharves, railway cross ties, ship building and telegraph poles. There are other reclaimed sources for the wood besides African railroad sleepers; also, a small supply of regrowth Jarrah is logged from a 5 million acre farm owned by the Australian Government and carefully controlled by the Department of Conservation and Land Management. The volume of timber harvested annually is closely monitored ...


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