- Title: MALI: Artist Amara Sylla in Mali carves out successful niche through 'rock art'
- Date: 5th June 2007
- Summary: (AD1) BAMAKO, MALI (MAY 19, 2007) (REUTERS) TRAFFIC DRIVING ON AN OLD BRIDGE IN BAMAKO'S SOTUBA DISTRICT MAN WALKING FISHERMAN CASTING HIS NET AMARA SYLLA AND HIS FRIENDS CROSSING DRY RIVER BED LOOKING FOR STONES SYLLA'S FEET WALKING ON GRAVEL SYLLA AND HIS FRIENDS MOVING A BIG STONE STONE WITH HANDS TOUCHING IT PAN FROM STONES TO SYLLA SITTING (SOUNDBITE) (French) AMARA SYLLA, ARTIST, SAYING: "I am a sculptor by observation, because the sculpture has already been created by the effects of erosion, and by the fact that I transport them from one place to the other to place them on a visible space." "Je suis sculpteur par observation parce que j'ai dÃ©jÃ de la sculpture fait par les effets Ã©rosion et que je transport d'une parti Ã une autre pour aller les exposer sur des surfaces visible." STREAM FLOWING THROUGH THE ROCKS VARIOUS OF SMALL WATERFALL PAN OVER ROCKS AND STREAM TO AN ERODED HOLE IN THE ROCKS WHERE WATER HYACINTH GROWS STREAM FLOWING THROUGH ROCKS WITH WATER HYACINTH
- Embargoed: 20th June 2007 13:00
- Location: Mali
- Country: Mali
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz
- Reuters ID: LVAC2BSW4T2WQIT768MTBWYYSMJN
- Story Text: An old bridge on the outskirts of Mali's capital Bamako is flooded during the rainy season each year and this is where rock artist Amara Sylla comes for inspiration.
Specialising in creating art from naturally formed objects, Sylla regularly scours the dry river beds for rocks and stones that the stream has eroded into interesting shapes.
The rocks he chooses are then carried back to his home to form the base for a unique work of art. His creations are fulfill a dual purpose in that they are also functional, like tables and chairs.
Sylla trained as a photo-engraver, but could not make a living from it so he started to explore other art forms. He is now a sculptor and painter and organises regular art exhibitions.
"I am a sculptor by observation, because the sculpture has already been created by the effects of erosion, and by the fact that I transport them from one place to the other to place them on a visible space," Sylla said.
Sylla's work is still something of a new trend in Mali. But he has got a growing clientele of the Bamako's nouveau riche, who often employ him to decorate their houses.
"I am in the initial stages, I am convincing people little by little about stones, about decorating with stones, and although it's going slowly, it can be a success because I am already getting into the system, which means I even give lessons about art using stones," Sylla said.
Over the years he has collected tons of rocks and other materials at his home in the Sotuba district in Bamako. Sylla himself comes from a family of artists, and likes to pass on his knowledge by giving lectures at the Ministry of Culture in Bamako. Artists from all corners of Mali come to learn from him.
"This is my first contact with stones. I like stones a lot, I am from Koulikoro and Koulikoro is all about stones. This is another reason that pushed me to come here to this workshop with the excellent Amara Sylla," says Abadoulaye Traore, a painter from Koulikoro, a particularly rocky area of Mali.
As well as a growing list of both local and international clients, his work can be seen in many up-market places in the city and even in some presidential suites in some of Bamako's hotels.
But his long-term goal is to introduce his countrymen to the art of creating unique pieces based on the beauty of nature.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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