Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Tradition and Creativity

Designs from Bombe Surprise, using Kente cloth from West Africa. We don't know what it stands for, but it looks good.

There is a fantastic relationship between tradition and creativity in African textile arts. The firm beliefs on which the aesthetic is built maintains tradition, whilst social, economic and historical changes pave the way for those traditions to be developed and passed on through time. I think that this understanding can be applied to other forms of art in Africa, and what I have learned about particular cultures and the way they use what they make has certainly broken down my own built-in stereotypes of what ‘African Art’ is and can be. The context in which African textiles exist  can be used a a means of weaving together the aesthetic products of separate processes, resulting in an overall, totally linked understanding of tradition and creativity within the history of African material.