When paper becomes bead.
It's starting to look like an obsession isn't it. African recycling. I can't get enough of it. This wonderful collar comes courtesy of National Geographic magazines. The paper is cut and rolled forming the long beads. Its made by a Ugandan, Sanaa Gateja. Is there no end to innovative uses of things that have already had a life as something else? I love it to pieces.
The wallhanging below is made by using the same technique. I especially loved the story with this one. It's called "Change". The beads were made using Barack Obama's presidential campaign literature. It was made by Algernon Miller in collaboration with Sanaa Gateja and the Kwetu African Women's Association, Uganda.
While I'm on the subject of beads. Here's a couple of magnificent works using conventional beads by two South African artists
Bongiswa Ntobela (South Africa, b.1968)
Noluvuyo Niza (South Africa, B.1985) under the guidance of master beader Mangutshana Nontanga (South Africa, b. 1967)
I bring these offerings to you from The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) New York City, December 2010.
The depth of family ties at the core of aboriginal culture was very much in evidence at the Alcaston Gallery last Saturday afternoon. The opening of an exhibition showcasing three aboriginal artists was attended by close family of the artists who spoke endearingly on their behalf. (The artists were unable to attend). The artist's work I was most keen to see was that of Christine Yukenbarri. She comes from a long line of painters, her father, Helicopter Tjungurrayi amongst them. Significantly, she paints the stories told to her by her mother. This appears to be an abiding motivation in her work. There is an interesting podcast available on the the Alcaston website in which Christine talks about her art and country. The bond with her mother is repeatedly evident. In that context, the works on display at Alcaston are joyous, stunning, original depictions of ancient stories. Themes include Witjinti (soakwater), Mungari (bush food), Winpurpurla (her late mothers country in the Great Sandy Desert). The central circle represents the soakwater while the linear areas represent the sand dunes.
(Detail - Winpurpurla by Christine Yukenbarri, 2010)
Winpurpurla by Christine Yukenbarri, 2010 Synthetic polymer paint on linen.
In November 2010 Alcaston Gallery welcomed another fave of mine Tiger Palpatja. His use of colour is similarly a joy to behold.
I cant finish this post without mentioning the scones served at the gallery for the opening. I'm told that they were procured from the Gertrude Street Organic Bakery. Both the gallery and the bakery are worth a visit.
My sincere thanks to assistant curator Adriana Del Medico for her assistance and to gallery management for allowing me to photograph the works.
Alcaston Gallery is at 11 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. The exhibition runs from February 8th to March 4th.
Razzle Dazzle Recycling
I'm afraid that there's good and bad news with this post. The good news is that I got these great pics of a dazzling piece of art. The bad news is that I've searched high and low in my notes and simply can't find the name of the artist/date, to pass on to you. So, what to do...will I post it without or should I file the whole thing into the nether regions of my laptop? Once I'd reviewed all of the photos I decided that it was positively too gorgeous to be relegated to the bowels of my computer.
What I can tell you is that I spied this absolute bobby dazzler at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. I can also tell you that it originated from Africa. From memory, the whole piece was around one and a half meters wide by a meter high. The other little golden gem of information I can tell you is that it's made from the bottle tops of a variety of alcoholic beverages. Each one cut, flattened and wired into place. More unbelievable African recycling!