Shaun Parker was born and raised in rural South Africa. From an early age, he enjoyed
drawing and painting, little knowing that this would become his life passion.
He obtained an undergraduate degree in Architecture at the University of Port Elizabeth
(South Africa) in 1995 and spent the following year traveling in England and Ireland.
On his return to South Africa in 1997, he took up a position at an architectural
firm in Johannesburg.
In 1999 Shaun moved to Gaborone, Botswana, where he worked as an architect, concentrating
on community based projects. There he met his life partner and also seriously took
In 2001 he moved to Kiev, Ukraine with his partner. He continued painting, and started
attending studio painting lessons led by Ukrainian artist Zoya Lehrman. This allowed
him to develop his technique in studio works, particularly still life painting. Shaun
found the rich cultural life in Kiev extremely stimulating, and was fortunate enough
to meet some of Ukraine’s leading artists, becoming a frequent visitor to their studios.
Living in Eastern Europe afforded Shaun the opportunity to travel extensively across
Europe and countries within the former Soviet Union, both geographical areas being
greatly inspirational to him.
In 2005 the couple (together with their two adopted Ukrainian street dogs) moved
to Nairobi, Kenya, and for Shaun this was a very fulfilling and inspiring period
as a painter. He attended weekly studio painting sessions with co-founder of RaMoMA
and premier Kenyan artist, Mary Collis, and other artists based in Nairobi. He also
took an active interest in the Arts in Kenya.
In 2006 Shaun completed his Masters Degree in International Business Management at
the University of London, Royal Holloway. As his dissertation for this degree, he
developed a five year business plan for RaMoMA plotting a course for the institution
to become less dependent on single donor funds, and more self-sustaining.
In 2007 Shaun and his partner (and the two dogs) moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where
he has continued to paint and exhibit his works at various venues. Shaun currently
also works on the post-tsunami reconstruction of Aceh and Nias, and post-earthquake
and volcanic eruption reconstruction on Java. He continues to paint in his spare
Thoughts and Philosophy:
"Art just is. There is no other way of saying it.
Painting is my sanity. It takes me out of reality and puts me in the now so that
I can focus on what I am doing and restore the balance in my world. A lot of issues
in the world – such as intolerance, for example, wouldn’t be such big issues if everyone
just took the time to create that inner balance within themselves.
And if what I create evokes something within you, then I have achieved my goal at
a higher level: that of creating something that is identifiable. Not recognizable,
but identifiable. Whether the painting evokes the peaceful vastness of the open African
space, or the vibrancy of the call to prayer at Ramadan; the mystery of a secret,
or the joy of children at play, if the painting can stir something within you, that
is what is important."