a global art project

Africa’s ancient art to be saved, with your help

  • by Daisy Fletcher

“Thousands of examples of millennial old art carved into rocks and on the walls of caves are under threat as their location is often unknown and unprotected from artefact thieves. Despite providing some of the oldest art in the world, Africa’s rock art tradition has long been overlooked by archaeologists and art historians alike.Now the British Museum and Kenyan-based archaeological charity TARA (Trust for African Rock Art) are working to preserve this endangered heritage.

“The Museum wants to make Africa’s rock art available to both scholars and the general public alike. We hope to both protect and share this remarkable history for free with a global audience,” says Elizabeth Galvin, Curator of the African Rock Art Image Project. The rock art tradition began in Africa 50,000 years ago, but abstract engravings may be up to 77,000 years old. It long predates writing, so serves as an important historical window into the culture and beliefs of early humans, and the world in which they lived. Today only a handful of isolated groups engage in the tradition, with a few sites still being used for fertility and rainmaking rituals. 

The places in which ancient rock art is found have been little documented and largely unprotected, leading to a deterioration of the sites and the art itself. In 1996, TARA was set up, in order to record and protect the rich rock art heritage of the African continent. The Nairobi-based NGO are committed to improving awareness about this tradition, and the endangered state that rock art sites are in. “The ultimate aim is to record all this incredible heritage for humanity before it’s too late,” says David Coulson, TARA’s Executive Chairman” (read more).

(Source: Independent UK)

ACE AIR: NANCY QUIN





Program: Ace AIR
Location: Ace Hotel New York
Date of Stay: 10-08-17
Artist: Nancy Quin

During a recent stay at Ace Hotel New York, artist Nancy Quin produced a work centered on openness, a paper-on-glass collage titled You Are Here. The work may be hung vertical (x2) or horizontal, she tells us, and we’ve found both options to be equally beautiful. A companion collage presents a two-tone group portrait illuminated in silhouette against a stark black background.

Nancy Quin is a New York-based visual artist who explores cultural and artistic diversity. She received her BFA from Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and has exhibited in the NYC area. Her sculptural work is symbolic in nature with sensitivity towards human experiences. She embraces the balance between hard and soft materials, often combining natural elements with manufactured. With the belief that art is a universal language, Nancy developed a Global Art Outreach project. Her collaborative international workshops have connected youth of the world through visual art

This October, Ace AIR is curated by Staten Island MakerSpace, a non-profit community workshop dedicated to building economic growth through innovation. Promoting interdisciplinary creativity and collaboration, SI MakerSpace makes tools and technology accessible to all, regardless of skill level or experience. They sustain artists, inventors, and individual entrepreneurship with low cost access to fabrication equipment, open work spaces, and studios. Supporters of STEAM learning, SI MakerSpace introduces children to careers in science, engineering, and new technologies which create pathways out of poverty.

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OLEK IN INDIA

Crochet artist OLEK is in New Delhi working on a massive project for the ongoing St+art Delhi Street Art Festival. Within the first few days of her arrival in India, Olek held workshops on crochet techniques with volunteers and women from several different organizations.

Olek, whose work often examines sexuality, feminist ideas and the evolution of communication is collaborating with the Afghani Refugee women center, Malviya Nagar along with a number of other women who have volunteered. Together they are crocheting thousands of meters of yarn and fabric at a workshop in South Extension.

Since then, the women have been given several meters of fabric, which they take back home with them and crochet into hearts and butterflies and other forms, which will all, be used to make a larger artwork for the project. This project aims to bring attention to the temporary night shelters “Raine Basera” which have been setup throughout the city; it also explores the issues of women empowerment. The women workers involved range from housewives, working professionals to students – across a diverse socio-economic background.

“The government has taken a great initiative by setting up homeless shelters all across the city, but a majority of people are unaware of their existence. Olek is an iconic name in the global street art community and her projects are always vibrant and work around empowering women. Through this project we aim to draw the attention of the whole city towards this positive initiative, while working with women from different walks of life to bring this project to life,” says Akshat Nauriyal, Content Director, St+art Delhi.

OLEK will install this one-of-a-kind project on the family night shelter – about 40 ft long and 8 foot high – in the Sarai Kale Khan area of New Delhi on March 17th.

Thanks to St+art Delhi, we can give you a peek at the making of her final piece.