Every Monday at Art in the Park people over fifty and living in SE17 come together to share and learn about each others’ cultures and traditions. The idea behind this project is to celebrate the main cultures that are represented in the residents of the Aylesbury Estate. Previously we have explored Europe and the Caribbean.
Monday 6th February was the culmination of our third corner, West Africa. We held a very lively lunch party with West African food made by members of the group, an exhibition of some of their work and West African music and dancing.
As well as learning which countries are considered to be in ‘West Africa’ we learnt about the art and food. Two members of our group, Mary and Fola are both from Nigeria, and taught us a lot about the culture of Nigeria . They showed great pride in their culture and seemed to engage at a deeper level with the project as a result of this celebration. Another member of our group, Bola, made some delicious jollof rice for our lunch!
The grandchildren of one of our group, Mary, really added to the atmosphere with their wonderful dancing and by playing instruments for us all. Mary can be seen above in very colourful West African costume, which she put on specially for the event.
The group worked on lino-printing, the suggestion of Tina Davis who has been volunteering and working with the group for two months. It was the nearest equivalent we could get to the beautiful wood and clay carvings that are the signature style of West African art.
It was a great event, and all the group made very strong art works and also cooked some delicious and healthy West African food.
4 Corners continues each Monday, and the next corner of the world we will be exploring will be British art!