Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou at Nottingham Comtempoary



Whenever I come up to my mother’s house I try to get to Notttingham Contemporary, which is a gallery specialising in contemporary art – as you might expect from the name.   I like it because it is always thought provoking.  The film of the Crusades seen from the Muslim perspective shown  through the medium of puppets was really memorable, for example, and I still wish I could get a copy.  The current show, however, is Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou.   I love to go to shows which really show you something new, and where you come out thinking that you have learned something.  As I knew nothing about art in Haiti, in this case, it wasn’t difficult.  There was a lot of weird and wonderful painting of various sorts, but as a textile type, I loved the flags or ‘drapeaux’ which were originally made for ceremonial purposes, but are now made as art.  They are made with thousands of sequins packed in together with locking beads to make whole shimmering surfaces.  I didn’t have long enough in the gallery to study them, and it would be worth going again to catalogue the various ways that the sequins were applied to get the various effects.  There was a mermaid swimming through water which was done in sequins stacked together so that only quarters showed.  I have no idea how that was done, but it gave a wonderful rippled texture to the whole.



This shows the density of the sequins as they are the only elements making up the design.




This shows the vigour of the designs.




This gives some idea of scale.

There were also some fascinating sculptures which I would have liked to have sketched, and one wonderful painting which I thought could be the basis for something I might make:



The show is enormous with all sorts of paintings and objects, from Vodou spiritual work to scenes of every day life.  I would really recommend a visit if you have the opportunity, but it ends on 6 January, so time is limited.



The photos on this blog came from another blog: http://ohsuchaprimadonna.blogspot.co.uk,which has a better description of the exhibition than I give!

2 thoughts on “Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou at Nottingham Comtempoary

  1. The sequins are interesting. If you ever do a course at West Dean make sure you take a trip to the Purple Landing. Close to the King’s room there is a portrait in mixed media which incorporates sequins in an unusual way. Quite inspirational, but sad to say I’ve forgotten both the name of the artist and the subject. Lots more to see there too.

    1. I rather fancy a course at West Dean – might look it up as a post-Christmas brightener. As you can imagine with my love of beads, I really love Christmas! Thanks for commenting. Ann

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