Kassena collection is inspired by the houses of the same named ethnic group from southern Burkina Faso - Africa.
Ever since the 16th century, the Kassena have been decorating the walls of their houses with elaborately painted murals.
The painting is done exclusively by the women who pass on the skill to their daughters. The paintings on the suppressed clay house walls are made from locally found minerals: white from chalk, black from basalt and red from laterite. The minerals are mixed with water and clay to make the paint. After painting, the wall is polished with small stones and varnished with a natural varnish made from the local néré fruit. This finish protects both the paint and the house, but every few years the painting needs to be redone, usually after harvesting and before the rainy season.
I am absolutely astonished with both the architecture and the murals which remind me of the vernacular black and white house paintings from Čičmany, Slovakia - made by women, where the same geometric symbols pop up - archaic symbols that show up across the world.
Maybe that is why I worked on the Kassena series at first - because there is so much from this continent I adore and definitely will process it in my art work.
The Kassena vase, vessel with lid and bowl on leg are hand built by me from high fired stoneware clay. The surface is covered with engobes, I used different scratching techniques to show the clay body under the engobe. Relief on the vessel's lid is finished with a precious golden metal lustre applique.
vase ↨ - 50cm
vessel with lid ↨ - 48cm
footed bowl Ø - 19,5cm; ↨ - 12cm