Malian artist Abdoulaye Konaté merges political commentary and traditional craftsmanship in Iniva's fifth annual window commission. He discusses his work with writer Coline Milliard
Malian artist Abdoulaye Konaté merges political commentary and traditional craftsmanship in Iniva's fifth annual window commission this December.
He reflects on the relationship in Africa between power and religion - the position of Christianity and Islam within political and cultural life. Commissioned especially for the vast window space of Rivington Place, this new textile work merges political commentary and traditional craftsmanship.
Born in Diré, Mali in 1953, Konaté lives and works in the country's capital, Bamako. Having trained as a painter, he now works with Malian cotton creating textiles and canvases in response to a lack of availability of other materials. These large expanses of fabric play host to an array of stitched and woven symbols as well as swathes of colour. The artist's past work effectively communicates his political concerns: be it highlighting environmental issues such as de-forestation, living under dictatorship, threatened minority groups or human rights issues. of Christianity and Islam within political and cultural life.
Coline Milliard is an art writer based in London. She is UK Editor for Modern Painters and ARTINFO, Managing Editor for ibraaz.org and London correspondent for art press. She is a regular contributor to Art Monthly and has also written for Frieze, Art Review and several other publications.
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