Seni Awa Camara

Born in 1945, Bignona, Senegal
Lives and works in Senegal.

Seni Awa Camara, shaping the clay, gives life and form to stories, events, and feelings, dreamed, revealed, or fantasized. Encouraged by her mother from childhood to approach traditional ceramic techniques, her artistic practice soon diverged from the utilitarian nature of ceramics to assert a personal aesthetic quest focused on substance and form. Inspired by dreamed or made up stories and deprived of a stage on which to perform, her monstrous yet attractive creations, often incorporating a multitude of other small monsters within them, are imbued with the typical mysticism of spirits and animist practices—spiritual philosophies of life in which the physical world is considered so interpenetrated by spiritual forces as to include even inanimate objects—typical of African villages.

In an effort to reconnect the past to the present, Harriet Gillett’s deeply ingrained transnational predisposition finds its roots in the common thread of sincerity that binds humanity together, distinguishing the purest emotions. Conversely, in response to an increasingly digitized world, where images and temporal spans merge and seem to materialize into an apparently eternal present, her artistic practice seeks to slow down these encounters, often frenzied, transforming them into images of pure fantasy. Drawing from the emotionally charged vivacity of Post-Impressionism and the devotional nature of Western religious formats, Gillett’s combination of traditional subjects with contemporary materials allows her to playfully traverse an innovative line oscillating between multiple perspectives and unconventional space-time coordinates. In doing so, she delves deeper into the realm of colour freedom, boldly venturing into uncharted artistic territories while maintaining a focus on enhancing the solidity of the image and the integrity of its outline


The smell of bitter almonds

Seni Awa Camara