EXHIBITION FROM THE 4TH OF JUNE TO THE 30TH OF SEPTEMBER 2009
The image of the mother carrying her child is very present in Westerner imaginary, reflecting the importance of the woman not only in her wife role, but also as a mother. In addition to their social and economic importance, the African mothers also have a quasi-magic capacity. The birth is indeed regarded as a godsend, because this is the child who later will take care of his/her parents, become old, and will work for them as they worked for him. Moreover, in many cultures, the woman is often a priestess specialist in the rites and a person in charge of the worship, and many spirits are female ones. This fact partly explains the importance of the female image in the African sculpture. Although a child is raised by the members of the family extended, the link between him/her and his/her mother remains very strong, especially at the period of early childhood, the carved works presented at the time of this exhibition are a proof of that fact. Motherhood represents the female principle par excellence. But are african motherhoods statues of mother with child or statues of mother and child? Which are the relationships between the mother and the child in a sculpture of motherhood?
Very often mother and child do not set up a group: the mother is the main character while the child constitutes an attribute. Sometimes they are juxtaposed, sometimes there is a coordination between them. With some rare exceptions, the artist does not represent the expression of the maternal feelings, the close emotional ties are seldom mentionned in the sculpture. It's not a representation of an individualized motherhoood, but objects related to the general principle of fertility: the statue belongs to the sacred world, this is why it often takes place on an altar.
However, even if the feelings are not expressed, the relation is underlined by the importance of the maternal hands. The " coordination" materialized especially in motherhoods nursing through the physical relationship with the maternal centre. When he's integrated, the child thus forms a group with his mother, but there's almost never exchanging glances between the two.
Twinning can be accomodated well or regarded as ill omen. In the African societies, birth of twins is explained by the intervention of the creative god, who wanted to travel by an human form. The twins are thus often subjects of a great veneration, even of a worship in some societies (for example the Ibeji of the Yoruba people of Nigeria). Motherhoods including twins represent a filled motherhood and are thus a symbol of fertility.
" Comfortable mothers, painful mothers, radiant mothers, who does not carry them in her heart and does not call upon them in the joy or the sorrow. With ways of expression and of sensibility which are particular to her, Africa devoted to the fertile and protective mother works highly charged with signification". (Therese Houphouët-Boigny, First Lady of Ivory Coast from 1960 to 1993).
african art / art africain / primitive art / art primitif / arts
premiers / art gallery / art tribal / tribal art / Afrique / Africa /
l'oeil et la main / galerie d'art premier / achat / vente / expertise /
expert / exposition / exhibition / collection / collectionneur / Paris
/ oeuvre / Verneuil / antiquités / antiquaire / musée / museum / masque
/ mask / statue / sculpture / Agalom / Armand Auxiètre /
www.african-paris.com / www.agalom.com