Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Sharing of Culture & Art

Paper making from recycled paper, oil pastels, soft pastels and watercolor crayons. These were the things I brought to the Wayi Wayi Art Studio & Gallery, Livingstone, Zambia. Through a series of events this workshop came together. I went to visit the LIBES vocational school/college, they just happen to have a conference from the ILO (which I think stands for International Labor Organization) for artists. They were teaching them marketing techniques. We had an opportunity to watch them sing, dance, play drums and see some of the works created by the visual artists. It is there I meant, Sunga Mwila & Peter Mtonga. Sunga told me of the gallery she works with, Wayi Wayi. The owners Agnes Buya and Lawrence Yombwe, hosted the workshop at their studio. They have their home, large inside gallery space, and separate 3 sided building for workshops. Agnes has made paper before and has been to Charlotte, N.C. teaching paper making. I met with the two of them a couple times and we set up a time & place to make paper. Now we needed artists & art teachers to come. Through our contact at Victoria Falls University, I was put in touch with a young artist, Sydney Josiah, he creates batiks & plays traditional drums. I met with him and told him about the opportunity to learn to make paper from recycled materials. He said he would contact artists and let them know.

Sydney & Peter came back to me with 26 artist that were interested in learning paper making and in sharing their work/ideas. The Wayi Wayi Gallery also invited several people, plus the 7 of us traveling from VA Tech. We were going to have a full house. After a little more coordinating we broke the artists into groups, so that they might flow in and out throughout the afternoon. It worked beautifully,

One of the challenges was to see if we could make paper pulp using a mortal & pedestal. Many homes are without electric and water may be from a source outside their homes in a village. This too worked beautifully! We worked with limited supplies, yet everyone shared, worked side by side, and exchanged ideas. I hoped they would take the base of paper making and create their own individual works of art, which they did. While they were waiting for papers to dry or their turn to make more paper they tried soft pastels, oil pastels and watercolor crayons.

Art from pods
After we cleaned up the workshop, we shared art that individuals brought, acrylic, oil paintings, glass mosaics, graphite drawings, printmaking done using paint not ink and purses made by crocheting recycled plastic bags. I shared some of my work and then the other artists came up to speak of their works. It was a good day.
Agnes & Lawrence, Wayi Wayi Gallery

Making pulp without electricity 

Plein air paper making

Sharing art - sharing ideas

Group photo

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