Batik designers from Sierra Leone have a different approach to the content and use of batik. For Sierra Leoneans batik is not just a beautiful textile used to make beautiful garments, it is also a very important art form. For over a century, Sierra Leonean used the surroundings, to share the story and the way of traditional and modern day Sierra Leone through the art of batik. Batik for Sierra Leoneans is wearable art as well as wall art that can be collected just like you would paintings and masks, with very vivid, cartoon like graphics of village, family, wild life and under water scenes. The batik is not usually framed, although when framed it is absolutely beautiful.
About the artist
Benjamin Abdulai Conteh is a batik and tie dye artist who lives with his wife and six (6) children in the capital city of Sierra Leone, Freetown. “Abdul,” as he’s fondly known by friends and loved ones has been a batik artist for over thirty (30) years. Abdul’s team consists of him, his wife and the three (3) oldest of his children.
You will find Abdul’s incredible work in museums and galleries in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Mali and Senegal. Abdul and his family has been the exclusive batik making team for Vivid Emporium for the past 8 years and it has been a true pleasure to work with an artist so passionate and professional about his work.
Although the origin of batik is really hard to tell, one thing is for certain, having a piece of batik is having something dignifying, sacred and truly special. Even in our time, batik proves to be a sacred art form because of the rarity in producers of the craft. “To keep the production alive we need to support batik producers all over the world.”
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