Seyni Awa Camara creates totemic works evoking topics starting from bestiaries to motor automobiles and maternity scenes. Camara’s sculptures are influenced by her desires, the place she first divines her types. After getting ready her clay, typically including ore or different pure media to the combination, the artist begins to sculpt her works. Over the course of many days, typically weeks, Camara carves the advanced types showing in every work. She then fires the clay on a wood pyre earlier than immersing it in a liquid obtained from putrefied tree pods. This last stage lends the sculptures their coloration and sturdy, textured high quality.
The artist, now in her eighties, was born within the Casamance area of Senegal, the place she nonetheless lives and works within the village Bignona. An oft-cited native legend posits that she and her brothers had been kidnapped by forest spirits after they had been younger. For over 4 months, they taught the kids about pottery. Camara and her brothers reappeared one morning, pottery in hand, after 4 months of absence. Genuinely, Camara was launched to conventional pottery methods by her mom when she was a toddler. As Camara grew older, she started producing not solely the utilitarian ceramics utilized by her household, but in addition sculptures to promote available in the market close to her dwelling. The legend, regardless of its fictiveness, speaks to the drive of her work as a conduit to what’s unknown and unseen. “What’s behind the story of the little lady misplaced—and never discovered—within the forest?” Caevel has queried. “There’s […] a notion of the world as double: the “seen” world being that of women and men, and the “invisible” world that of spirits, gods, and ancestors.”1 Camara’s polyphonous sculptures—which conjoin a number of figures, animals, and views inside their vertical constructions—mediate between these two worlds.
at Nino Mier Galler, New York
till June 10, 2023