The Art of Africa is a casualty
of colonial exploitation, surviving
principally in the museums of
My objective in this work is to document an extraordinary art form - vernacular art and architecture in West Africa - that is not transportable and therefore not seen in museums around the world.
It is an attempt to capture the unseen Africa, a glimpse into the homes and into the spirit of very proud and dignified peoples.
In much the same way as I photographed the art of Ndebele women, I have drawn on my personal affinity for the art itself, for methods, design and form, rather than the socio-anthropological or political realities of a people or continent in dilemma.
These images portray a unique tradition of Africa, a celebration of an indigenous rural culture in which the women are the artists and the home her canvas. Margaret Courtney-Clarke
Margaret Courtney-Clarke is one of those rare individuals who not only thinks about life, what it means and what treasures it holds in store, but deservedly stands in that edifying tradition of photo-journalism that illuminates the human spirit. Her photography and her acclaimed books, notably her trilogy Ndebele, African Canvas & Imazighen, as well as her contributions to numerous other publications are deeply human and nuanced in their thought as well as being imbued with a rare spirit of dignity and love.by Prof. Andre' du Pisani