Panning the Spotlight on Nigerian Artist, Tammy Sinclair.
Copy right owned by Tammy Sinclair, Nigeria
African creatives around the globe are eager for self-expression and narrative ownership. Artists of African origin have long produced a rich culture of diversity in practice, from textile arts to sculpture, painting and crafts… the list goes on.
In anticipation of Forme Femine’s upcoming virtual exhibition, featured artist Tammy Sinclair reflects on the wealth of mediums at his disposal, how a continent of immense natural and human resources forms the heart of female-rooted popular resilience, and how his practice has evolved through his pieces.
The artist’s words have been edited for length and clarity.
Tammy Sinclair’s style grew from his curiosity around two of his favourite artistic practices: sculpture and drawing. String art gave him a way to merge both artistic techniques.
On the vision behind his work, Tammy says “the ‘never say die’ attitude and the African spirit inspires my art. Despite years of victimization and discrimination, Africa and Africans have always played a key role in the human experience. It’s not only the birthplace of civilization. Africa has contributed enormously to the cultures of the world.”
Experimenting with art from an early age, Tammy Sinclair was drawn to create as he explored the topics of racism and identity, rewriting the black narrative, and highlighting the need for unity. Today, string art embodies the endless and infinite processes that define these issues. In his own words, “the fragility of a single thread points at our weakness when we choose to stand alone. Layering thread on thread almost seems to wax an impenetrable fortress, which points at our strength if we all stand together.”
In PERE, Sinclair creates intricately woven and assembled fibers. He depicts an unapologetic feminine royalty that dramatizes aspects of African culture around the subjects of power and authority.
Venturing into the art goes beyond aesthetics and self-expression for the artist. Sinclair attributes the central feminine themes of his art to the personal relationship with the women around him: “From my mum to my five sisters and my wife, the women in my life have played a major role in shaping my character and defining who I am today.”
Sinclair commented on how gender influences his creative process, stating “I am of the school of thought that the strength of a society is dependent on how they treat their women. A woman’s importance in the human experience cannot be overstated. Women are the most beautiful yet complex creatures. They can be hot and cold, hard and soft. They can be black and white and red and pink and green. There is no one word that describes a woman. For me, women represent infinite potential.”
PERE by Tammy Sinclair
Forme Femine Art focuses on artwork that addresses historical, radical, global, and expressions of the feminine form in contemporary art. The FFA places conservative and liberal values of femininity in dialogue, exploring questions of representation in the arts on an international stage. In doing so, FFA centres the Afro-feminine form and primarily represents work by indigenous African artists.
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