Through his focus devoted to the preservation and reinterpretation of traditional West African textile and natural dyeing techniques and materials, Aboubakar Fofana is reclaiming traditional, sustainable dyeing methods.
Born in Mali and raised in France, Aboubakar Fofana is a multidisciplinary artist and designer whose working mediums include calligraphy, textiles and natural dyes. He is known for his work in reinvigorating and redefining West African indigo dyeing techniques, and much of his focus is devoted to the preservation and reinterpretation of traditional West African textile and natural dyeing techniques and materials.
Fofana's work stems from a profound spiritual belief that nature is divine and that through respecting this divinity we can understand the immense and sacred universe. His raw materials come from the natural world, and his working practice revolves around the cycles of nature, the themes of birth, decay and change, and the impermanence of these materials. He sees the conception and realisation of this work as a form of spiritual practice which is shared with his audience.
Fofana is currently deeply involved in creating a farm in conjunction with the local community in the district of Siby, Mali, in which the two types of indigenous West African indigo will be the centrepiece for a permaculture model based around local food, medicine and dye plants. This project hopes to contribute to the rebirth of fermented indigo dyeing in Mali and beyond, and represents his life's greatest project to date.
To read an interview with Fofana over on Hole&Corner, click here: https://www.holeandcorner.com/long-reads/indigo-dyer-aboubakar-fofana-on-his-kind-of-blue