Arts & Culture

African Craft

Immediately with a phraseAfrican Crafts “ Enter the next area.

“”What constitutes ‘art’ When Whand Configure ‘Craft’ “?

Craft In essence, it’s the production of an item that requires the skills to produce it. This will be most “art” craft. So can crafts be considered “art”? The endless discourse that one doubts continues to be hotly debated! Much controversy arises because in the first dialogue we knew that Africa was primarily based on painting and representational art, so we decided that there was no “art” in Africa. Instead, African paintings consisted of decorative surfaces such as rocks, bark, bark, pottery, mud huts, sculptures, and the human body.

Africa had functional and practical crafts, as well as textiles, fetishes, idols and cultural crafts. Within their own community, they were valued not only visually, but for everything their African crafts represented. Their symbolism and spiritual dimensions, and their decorative and aesthetic qualities. Skilled craftsmen and women have a special position in society and have been respected as members of their community. Expertise and traditional skills were respected and coveted. Unfortunately, the names of the artists are often unknown and were not recorded when their objects of creativity were first collected and preserved.

By studying African crafts, you can see not only aesthetics but also cultural identity and historical issues. Topics related to modern crafts as well as traditional crafts.

The following represent the main forms of African crafts …

Different regions and tribes produce a wide variety of African crafts, depending on tradition, availability of raw materials and historical influence. The movement of the tribes and the trade they made can be seen by decorating the goods with beads and other hats, dolls and cloth ornaments.

By stylizing the patterns and sculptures of pottery, you can get a glimpse of how new influences and the arrival of new cultures have affected traditional tribal areas.

Senegal roadside basket

African crafts are often associated with the production of utilitarian objects, which are essentially beauty-related, sometimes the most humble and perhaps the purest form. This is especially true for pottery. You can evaluate the perfect shape and admire the technical skills of the craft, especially without the simplest machine like the potter’s wheel.

Ancient African artists believe that they have access to a particular pool of higher thoughts, said to be the origin of creation, and the human hand is part of the splendor he can sometimes see for a moment. I believed it was just a tool used to reflect. Such a basic belief can only bring humble techniques to other areas where different rating systems need to occur.

If I believe that any of these immutable beliefs are still inherent, then it is necessary to recognize that there is no separation between art and craft for African culture, which still produces crafts today. there is. They are one because of the instinctive nature of the Creator, and that good crafts have lasting and transcendental qualities.

Tsonga skirtTsonga beads skirt

African crafts in the modern rural community

One of the many challenges facing Africa today is how to incorporate African indigenous crafts while incorporating First World techno logic in a way that provides the best service to the community and maintains tradition. Is it to maintain?

Craft Village ShopCraft Village Shop, Zimbabwe

In 1939, HV Meyerwitz, an artist and teacher in Lagos, then known as West Africa, persuaded the then governor to establish the West African Institute of Arts, Industry and Social Sciences. To modern technology. ” Investigate local arts and crafts, teach specific African crafts in the light of European experience, and create a local craft industry. It also explores local history, tribal life, customs, religion, and economic conditions. In general, it was a noble idea with good intentions and awareness, and the recognition that it was important to have an integrated social system that fused the two cultures.

The collapse was brought about by the simple term “in the light of the European experience.” The pottery workshop, led by Meyerowitz and later Michael Cardew, failed gloomy because the motivations of educated and skilled African employees were not paid enough attention. They didn’t see the feeling of producing goods purely for resale. No matter how humble and creative the work, it was always useful and had the dual purpose of conveying a spiritual message.

Ama Do Hampate Ba of Mali, a respected poet and artist, describes his relatives as follows:

How would such a big concept be adapted to the production of crafts that are meaningful to everyone involved in African art today?

This is our challenge and our very great opportunity.

In general, we believe that traditional Africans need to get closer to how to observe their relics. The principles behind the creation and production of African crafts need to be considered. The gap that Westerners perceive to exist between art and craft narrows and is ultimately considered uncertain. Because art is often well-made, when the viewer sees something beyond himself, the craft becomes art through the viewer’s eyes.

Modern African crafts

Bead bowl
Bead bowl 2Bead Bowl, Samburu Safari Restore Safari Fusion

The community that was born did not distinguish between art and craft, but with the recent prosperous cultural atmosphere of Africa and the growing interest in contemporary African art, “African craft” has plunged into “art”. ..

The beauty of the form is a key element of production, the acquisition of essential technology, originality and innovation. Just as crafts of the past were indicators of identity, status and wealth, they are today and crafts can collect huge prices in the art market.

Therefore, it can be argued that the use of the term “art” is simply based on supply and demand. It is imperative that art collectors and investors feel that they have something exotic, original and limited in number. In the words of anthropologist Leon Shirot, “People who can afford them want to own them, and this desire turns them into African art.”

Craft Initiative

There are too many very successful operatives thriving in Africa today to even start recording in a meaningful way.

The Studio Initiative below is an example of a very effective organization and is the first of many organizations I have personally contacted or highly admired and would like to write in the future. .. They strive to practice under enlightened conditions and are confident that assessing their success will find a common thread for their success.

Ardmore Ceramic Studios, South Africa

ardmoreArdmore, African Crafts

Ardmore was inevitably founded in 1985 when Durban Technicon instructor Fee Halstead was fired and needed to make a living. She established a relationship with Bonnie Nsharinshari, a young woman who lived in the mountains of Drakensburg, where Fee lived.

Together, they began producing decorative and narrative pieces for sale from studios in the Drakensburg Mountains.

In 1990, they jointly won the prestigious Standard Bank Award for Young Artists. At this point, Ardmore, as we know it today, has been recognized for its contribution to African art.

This is an African craft that is undeniably an “art”.

ardmore vaseArdmore Vase, 2000 Wonderboy Nxumalo

Pottery is functional, but in essence it is a studio work that is admired and collected and is actually found all over the world. In fact, the epic work created by one of Ardmore’s artists, Wonderboy Nukumaro, in 2000 set a record price at an auction with Stephen Welts in 2008 and was sold at R201600. rice field. The estimate was R30000-35000.

Ardmore is a true co-operative, and as Fee Halstead says, “we owe it to others.” When new artists join the studio, part of their training is to pass exams, including learning the history of the workshop.

This is to ensure that the legacy of what they are trying to contribute to is recognized and inherited by those who have inherited it. Ardmore sadly lost many artists to HIV, including Bonnie, who is praised for his work and life at the Bonnie Nsharin Shari Museum on the premises. Many artists have the courage to tackle their position and art head-on, creating works that are not ashamed of the subject. There is a fund that receives 6% of the gain on sale and brings social benefits to all members. Artists often work in pairs, one is sculpture and the other is painting. This isn’t 100%, but most of the time it’s the man who sculpts and the woman who adds decorative detail to the paint.

Ardmore artists are motivated by all sorts of influences that exist beyond the walls of this property and its tranquil landscape, but follow their emotions and instincts.

ardmore3All photos taken by the author on the site with the permission of the owner

No matter what the charm, you will surely find something that you react to in this truly moving place. It embraces creativity and responsibility and teaches ownership in one or more ways. Artists like Nhlanhla Nsundwane are faithful to their traditional Zulu life.

Man riding a cowPetros Geumbi, a man riding a cow

I personally love this hard sculpture I saw above because of its credibility, wit and talent, created by Petros Geumbi.

AAKS, Ghana

Handmade women’s accessory bag Akosua Afriyie-Kumi Produced and woven by a cooperative in a village in northern Ghana.

Using raffia as a fiber, they also have leather handles and tassel and buckles. They are very colorful and durable, with a tight weave and a high quality finish on the product.

aaks raffia fiberWoman carrying raffia fiber

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