DAK’ART 2014

11ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain 09/05>08/06

Ismaïla Fatty


Trial with jute : mixed media, 137 x 37cm, 2011, © Mattias Lindback, courtesy of the artist.
L’indisponible : mixed media, 200 x10cm, 2011, © Mattias Lindback, courtesy of the artist.
Spiritual Resurrection : mixed media, 207 x 28 cm, 2012, © Mattias Lindback, courtesy of the artist.

Working with fabric that is typically used for clothing and home furnishing, Ismaïla Fatty creates three sculptural wall hangings. In Trial with Jute, Fatty allows the medium to determine the creative process rather than working from a preconceived plan in order to understand the characteristics and capacity of this soft vegetable fiber used to make burlap. Trial with Jute is pivotal to the artist’s use of the material in later works. L’indisponible, which roughly translates to “the unavailable one,” explores Fatty’s heritage. For him, heritage is what gives a person his or her identity. Similarly, Spiritual Resurrection deals with the erosion of culture which is also the bedrock of identity formation. According to the artist, the work arose after a conversation about the lack of African language in academic curricula and the teaching of academic subjects in foreign languages. For the artist, it is difficult to transfer spirituality to younger ones using foreign languages.

Ismaïla Fatty was born in Thies in 1957 a Senegalese mother and a Gambian father. From 1974 to 1988, he worked in The Gambia where he re discovers Karabulo’s technique (textile batik dyeing technique ) and its extraordinary potential for experimentation. It is settled in Sweden since 1988. He created an art space, Husby Konst Och Hantverksforening in Stockholm (Sweden). He learnt Gambia’s oldest tie batik techniques from Sarahole immigrants from Mali and Guinea Bissau, knowledge he taught since 1988 in Sweden. During Husby-Dakar (2005-2009) workshop that he organized, wood sculptors, silversmiths and potters from Senegal and Sweden exchanged local techniques and cultural heritage. Between 2009 and 2013, he was artistic director of Workers’ Educational Association of Salongen, Stockholm.

View online : www.karabulo.se