Posted by : lara 7.12.2013

This was made for my friend Diane's birthday. It's size is 12" x 24". We went to West Africa together and when we took a trip to Ganvie instead of selling postcards this shop sold paintings local artists did of the city depicting scenes of its local life and rich history. Diane bought this, rolled it up and once got back to the hotel realized the paint had chipped off and she considered it somewhat ruined. Being the upcycler crafty person i am, i took it with the thought in mind to use it to create another piece that would bring it back to life.

One of the things i noticed about the West African art i saw around me while in Benin was it used mostly found objects and really at its core, is the grand daddy of upcycling. There is so much garbage around due to a lack of adequate waste disposal systems and many artists appear to use things most of us would just throw away. So, for this piece i wanted to stay as true to that as i could (but of course adding my own lara flair)

The cardboard, string and burlap i already had in my house and the birch wood paper was a fortuitous find at a local art store. And then, of course, i had to add the beads, because, well, i love beads ...

I'm so very proud of this piece and she adores it from what i hear. It was a pretty amazing feeling to see this piece of damaged art all the way from benin reborn into not only an awesome keepsake from the trip but a lovely wall hanging with texture and layers and sense of history.

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