Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Senegalese Artist Profile, Baye Djiby

Djiby Ndiaye also known as Baye Djiby is a conceptual artist in the art group Du Benn with Amary Sobel Diop. He said he calls himself this because it means father and that places him in the context of family, a context everyone is familiar with. 

"The One Who Dreams"
He was born in Saint Louis, Senegal and trained at the National School of Arts of Dakar.  He will be participating in the Biannale "OFF" Exhibition in 2014.
His paintings are mixed media using photographs he has developed and washed out.  He discovered the technique by accident when he came across some water damaged photos in a cupboard.  He uses the photos to explore concepts of inward and outward identity and representation. He also explores duality by incorporating photographic negatives to use as as stand in for literal 'negatives' and the developed photos representing to the positive attributes.  He states "by transcending duality and working towards peace, I can leave the negative behind." 

"The Ladies Game"
"The Interior"
photos from a series of five on the theme Mutation

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fall Color Gingko Style

http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/2224067This weeks's contest at Spoonflower is based on fall leaves.  There is no fall season here in Senegal, just wet season, dry season and harmattan, that is, the winds that blow in from the Sahara.  But my body still remembers the rthymns of the seasons from further north and the beauty of autumn leaves.  For Gingko Leaves on Bright Magenta and Blue, I used a yellow ginko leaf I scanned some time ago over a colorful watercolor background as my entry.  Please condsider voting in this week's contest.
Another variation on the ginko leaf design, Yellow Ginkgo Leaves, is also available.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Senegalese Artist Profile, Amary Sobel Diop

Amary Sobel Diop in his rooftop studio in Rufisque

On Wednesday, the Dakar Women’s Group Art Committee stopped by the workshop of Amary Sobel Diop.  He had been one of the members of our spring art show and had impressed us with his portrait of Kenyan activist, Wangari Muta Maathai, Nobel Prize for Peace winner in 2004.
Perfume bottles awaiting recycling
Dakar Women's Group members admiring 'Hyms for the Peace'
Amary Sobel Diop has been working professionally as an artist since his graduation from École des Arts de Dakar in 2009.  The program at École des Arts de Dakar is very competitive and only graduates 10 students a year, 5 in fine arts and 5 as teachers although all students receive the same art instruction to form the base of their education.  Amary graduated as a teacher and works at a high school in Louga.

Detail from 'Peace'

As a student he was introduced to a modern technique of piecing together plantain bark.  He took the skills learned from this piece work and applied it to aluminum and copper wire.  Amary now purchases bags of used aluminum perfume bottles and cuts them open to create sheets of aluminum.  He may choose to use the colored side of the sheet or the metallic. For his large portraits, he would then take a photograph (either public domain or used with permission) and map out the shapes and values needed to create the picture.  He often has to wait a while for his recycled materials to turn up just the right color or shade that he needs.  After the right piece is cut out, he uses an awl to punch holes in the metal and sews it together with copper wire.  Amary often inscribes by hand important background information or proverbs onto his work. Each portrait takes about thirty days to complete. The results of this painstaking process are incredible.
African view of Africa

Portrait of Aung San Su Kyi

These techniques are also used in his lamps, the metallic quilt entitled “Peace” and his maps of Africa.  The Peace quilt uses proverbs in many different languages.  Amary explains, “peace is a driving theme [in my work] because where ever you are in the world, peace is a universal desire.”  The Africa maps show the western ‘crisis’ viewpoint of Africa and the African’s point of view that Africa is a continent of solidarity and brotherhood. 

Amary works in other materials as well but always with an eye towards recycling.  He reuses old flip-flops to make new versions of African masks and sculptural columns.  He also reuses paper and shells in his work.
Masks and Sculptural Columns made of flip flops

Amary is part of a group of six artists called Du Benn, a Wolof name meaning not the same.  The group chose the name because all of the artists all have different styles and art philosophies and get together in each others homes to critique art and discuss ideas.
He exhibited his work in the OFF programs of the Dakar Art Biennale in 2012 and is slated to do so again in 2014. He is available for custom work.

recycled perfume bottle lamps construction

Sculptural columns made of recycled flip flops

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Woodland Sunset ATC

Today's ATC is a small pen drawing from a painting by Rien Poortvliet in the book Gnomes.  When I was five, I saw Brian Froud's Faeries book and sometime after that the Gnomes book.  I was captivated by the art from these books (being too young to read much) and purchased them as an adult to share with my own children.  So glad they are still available.
I drew this with brown Pigma pen on pale brown cardstock.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fabric Fashions with Free Shirt Template

 I am very excited to share with you some clothing made from some of the fabric I have designed.  These capri pants are made with the African Lace in Midnight Blue print in a twill. 
 The second print, Rust Gold and Blue Grey Asian and Insect Collage is made with Spoonflower's polyester silky faille fabric. For this project I created a shirt of my own design.  The template below shows the outline of the shirt I created.  Please feel free to adapt the pattern for your own shirt.  This shirt is a simple pattern with the same shape front and back except along the collar.  It has a half inch french seam except on the collar which has a quarter inch seam.