Saturday, December 30, 2006

Artist Statement

My art is modern African furniture and decorative objects inspired by my country, Burkina Faso, and Africa in general. Through these pieces, I hope people become more aware of the impressive art history in West Africa. My inspiration comes from words, stories and situations that come into my mind, and I try to give them a form.

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Art Within Us

We recently joined the local Minneapolis based group TAWU (The Art Within Us). TAWU is a social support, artist development and growth organization for African American artists sponsored by Obsidian Arts. Obsidian Arts is a Minnesota non-profit arts space focused on celebration and development of black artists, arts institutions and artwork. Each year, TAWU provides its members with opportunties to gain broader exposure through sales, as well as activities that promote creativity and nurture the spirit and artistic mind.

In 2006, TAWU participated in the Spring Art Party, Juneteenth, GLBT Pride Festival, Powerhorn Art Fair and Freedom Jazz Festival.

We look forward to working with this group in 2007!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Wakaloni Lamps

Wakaloni Lamps
$800 for pair

This pair of lamps is a Wakaloni man and woman. Rabi created their bodies with metal, while their heads are bronze sconces.

These creatures live in the forests in Burkina Faso, Mali and Cote d'Ivoire. They are very short (about 3 feet tall), and they have big heads and feet. Some of them have backward feet. Somehow they make people get lost in the forest.

When a Wakaloni meets a human in the forest, he asks this person to wrestle. The person must start to wrestle right away because if the Wakaloni has time, roots grow from their feet into the ground. The person is then unable to wrestle the Wakaloni anymore. If the person is able to beat them, the Wakaloni gives him riches. If the person loses, the Wakaloni turns him into a crazy person.

Rabi doesn't know anyone who has met the Wakaloni. But many people talk about them. Sometimes parents scare their naughty children by threatening that they'll be taken to the forest and the Wakaloni will get them.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

For Sale

Don't forget that any piece posted on this blog is for sale. Rabi can also accomodate custom orders.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Kenkayba's Place

Well, we haven't been up to too much with the holidays. But, we were able to get our fix of Ghanian food last night at our favorite West African restaurant in the Twin Cities at Kenkayba's Place. It is located at:

864 University Ave (corner of University and Victoria)
St Paul, MN 55104

The owners of the restaurant are Emmanuel and Cecilia, but Cecilia is the one who cooks and runs the place. They are a super sweet couple and have lived in the US for a number of years. Cecilia added soul food to the menu too, which we haven't tried yet. It's just a treat for us to get fufu and goat stew! My personal favorites are the plantains.

They were recently featured by the
Star Tribune since there are a few African restaurants popping up in the metro area. For a guide to Ghanian foods, visit this site.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tiim Soba

Tiim Soba

Rabi's latest sculpture is the "Earth Master" or "Tiim Soba" in Moore.

This man communicates with the ancestors by making sacrifices with lambs, goats and chickens.
When making sacrifices he uses sand, potions and writings.

If there is a disease or famine, he asks the ancestors to come help the people. He calls for the rain. When someone dies in the village in a bizarre ways, he is the one who investigates the death.

In most ethnic groups, there is an earth master. Everyone in the village respects this man and many are afraid. He's even well respected by the chief.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Women & Water

I don't quite know what my obsession is with women and water. If you come to our house, you will find paintings, bronze statues and now some of Rabi's pieces along this theme. It started sometime in Burkina. This is a photo I was lucky to shoot in northern Burkina near Bani in 2003 with my trusty Nikon N70. I love shooting in black and white, though my dad doesn't understand why I would want to since there is color film. The first shot wasn't quite right, but these gals lined up just right in the second. The 3 shorter trees are young baobabs, and the tallest is the shea tree.

There are many ways to collect water and girls learn how from a young age. Water can be collected in clay jugs, plastic containers or metal bowls. Babies are brought when mothers fetch the water needed for cooking, cleaning and bathing. Water can be pumped, if a village is lucky to have a well with a working pump. It can be drawn up from a well also, with a bucket attached to a rope. It can be collected from a stream, river or pond.

Waterborne illnesses and mosquitoes thrive in open water in Burkina. Most people don't boil their water to kill any parasites because this would require another fuel source. So many children and elders become sick. Malaria is quite common. Being sick is just normal, even though many of the illnesses are preventable. It's just an accepted part of life, like young girls walking an hour for a jug of water.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Reminder: Holiday Open House This Weekend!

Don't forget to stop by the Open House this weekend.

Friday, December 8th at 10am-7pm
Saturday, December 9th at 10am-5pm
Sunday, December 10th at 12pm-4pm

13056 Euclid Ave, Apple Valley, MN
Tel: 952-431-2614