Traditional African Murals
The Museum of Ponišavlje, Pirot
May 18th – June 6th 2017
Exhibition and Catalogue by
Nataša Njegovanović Ristić
About the Exhibition
The “Traditional African Murals” exhibition presents photographs of painted, relief and mosaic decorations that appear on architecture – elements of house exteriors and interiors, and whole compounds from different parts of the continent. Murals as an artistic form are a centuries-old tradition, with examples of exceptional visual solutions that distinguish the works of artists of the Igbo (Nigeria), Gurunsi (Burkina Faso and Ghana), Ndebele and Basotho (South Africa) peoples.
Due to the climate, each year after the rainy season the murals are restored or repainted. The ephemeral nature of the murals did not impact the artistic style or themes. On the contrary, women muralists have transferred their painting skills from one generation to the other and maintained this form of artistic expression, continuously transmitting by means of the aesthetic and semantic prism employed, the most important values of the community – such as virtue, morality, pride, identity, spirituality.
The “Traditional African Murals” exhibition bears witness to the artistic expression of the African women-muralists who approach the walls of their houses like a canvas, expressing at the same time elements of the traditional cannon and the spirit of modernity which represent the creative spring from which African contemporary artists originate.