By Pascale Mahe Keingna
Whether it be in traditional or contemporary art, colour has always been very much present in African art. It has now become a key element to artistic expression.
In France, Lyon’s Musée des Confluences hosts the “Africa in colour” exhibit, dedicated to showcase the evolution of colour in African art throughout the centuries, and highlights steps in the buid up of this essential part of this Art.
“We see that pearls were used very early on in local production and in imports coming from Egypt, India.. And then came trade with Europe. Jewellery really was a seperate kind of art that was used to communicate the status of young people, to be married women, young initiated people….” explains exhibit chief Maïnig Le Bacquer.
Whether it be with industrial paint on a canvas or with Colored glass beads, the contrast created by the different materials and colours brings a liveliness to the work of art, in addition to meaning for the artist and the viewer.
The same goes for clothes, cloth used for statues and traditional attires of patriarchs, and even by Congo’s sapeurs is a sign of belonging to a group or a social status.
The exhibit that showcases many more hidden coloured treasures will be opened to public until August 22nd 2021.