Indigo, Senegal, 2010/12

Woodcut, monotype, collage mounted on canvas or wooden board -  Photography from West Africa

Indigo is a colour that has importance for so many cultures, covering huge geographical areas. Indigo is the starting point for the colours in this series – that move from different shades and nuances of indigo, to the colours of the earth and of rust. 

The artist has explored the use of indigo in textiles from Burma to Cote d’Ivoire, and now in Senegal.

Inspired also by the beauty and geometric shapes of Kuba textiles from DRC, but never trying to mimic the fabric exactly, the artist has superimposed reflections of the textiles to create abstract pieces. Sometimes the work is made up of other pieces, connected together in a patchwork to form a whole.

The patchworks can also suggest the metal doors, roofs, and walls that we see around us all the time in Dakar.

Much of the work is printed from wood engraving. The work is laborious and physical. Concerned more about the result than the technique, she experiments and improvises. Working on sheets of wood, she engraves using small metal sculptor’s tools. She prints by hand onto handmade local paper or onto material, producing a unique piece of art each time.

In some of these pieces the engraved wood is used in the art, rather than being used to print a series of works.

This time-consuming approach gives a bas relief effect and a unique piece of art, reflecting the individual work that goes into the embroidery of the textiles.