Africa is a well of ingenuity and I am inspired by its extraordinary ability to re-cycle in the name of necessity as well as in the name of Art.
Romuald Hazoumè is a contemporary artist from Benin, West Africa. His masks are made from discarded gasoline canisters to resemble those used in traditional African culture and ceremonies.
In explaining these works, Hazoumè has said: “I send back to the West that which belongs to them, that is to say, the refuse of consumer society that invades us every day.” Eish!
His masks are a great source of inspiration for me. They are raw, tongue-in-cheek and witty.
As he does, we re-cycle plastic containers which we collect from surrounding restaurants in Hout Bay. We upholster them with colourful South African hand painted textiles adding crochet braids, raffia and shells. The result is an attractive humourous modern African mask which we sell in our store and online.
At present this provides work for 5 ladies of the Hout Bay township.
Thank you Romuald for your creativity!
Should you find yourself closer to France, we recently sent a collection of &Banana masks through to As'Art in Paris!