thorupART in co-operation with the Kologh Naba Association, Burkina Faso and photographer Margit Bjældager, opens it's showroom to an ensemble of arts, crafts and photography from Africa in a weekend event starting on Saturday 1st until Sunday 2nd April 2017.
Contemporary Art from Ghana and Burkina Faso, West Africa (Gabriel Eklou and Christophe Sawadogo, Kenya and Sudan, East Africa (Bertiers and Ahmed Abushariaa). Tinga Tinga pictures from Tanzania, Tingatinga on canvas. Images of East Africa from Danish Photographer Margit Bjældager.
Hand-woven textiles from the Association Kologh Naba: pillowcases, tea towels, bedspread, Shopping guide, cosmetic bags and handmade soap.
Abushariaa from Sudan fled the country when the military took over in the early 1990s. The Regime banned writers and artists to express themselves or express concern about the 20-year long war in Southern Sudan or the genocide of the Nubian people. In his own characteristic style Abushariaa shows us his deep concern over the human tragedy in Darfur, but also his longing for his homeland.
Bertiers from Kenya is very concerned with social, political and economic issues in Kenya and abroad, and his paintings of celebrities, national and global events are characterised by his sharp wit and humour. His penchant for news and international events has been a source of inspiration for his painting. Even before he had travelled outside Kenya - national and international events from newspapers, TV and radio were dealt with by his witty brush. The fools, charlatans, lovers, and politicians that make up Bertiers’ work all speak of his witty perception and portray a social commentary that can be recognised by all.
Sawadogo’s paintings are filled with phantoms and translucent figures, which float in the air as a heat shimmer. His paintings often portrays a warm haze and dryness through a conscious use of colours like ochre, umbra and sienna and his intricate watercolours speak of people, culture and refinement. He paints with inks, acrylics and natural pigments, bought from local women who make a living by selling earth and stones to contractors and builders. Buying his pigments from these women is one way in which he feels he can contribute to the fight against poverty at the local level. Sawadogo has an uncanny ability to portray the beauty of Africa without making it trivial. Through his unique style he presents viewers with richness and grace that is often overlooked in the stories told about Africa.
Gabriel Eklou’s canvases are characterised by a strong sense of composition and a dynamic use of colour. Eklou’s colours range from strong bold colours to a combination of muted soft and pale colours and underlines the dialectic between the everyday Africa and that of the traditional, symbolic Africa that is present in the paintings’ imagery. Elongated figures, symbolic landscapes and traditional symbols of African culture create a series of tales and visual narrations that at times become almost dream-like and speak of the interaction between the real and the believed.
The exhibition showcases the cheeky, humorous and colourful contemporary Tingatinga paintings that move between colorful kitsch and captivating art. Tingatinga not only presents a modern African painting style, but also challenges the boundary between tourist art and genuine talent. The Tingatinga style and the contemporary Tingatinga painters challenge the notion of art as a unique piece of work. Here paintings are mass-produced, copied, re-engineered to provide livelihoods for hundreds of painters and still the artistic level prevails.