Sculpted Clay Paintings Show Universal Connectedness

Arnaud Ramde 1

I was first introduced to Arnaud Ramde at a live music venue in NYC through a dear friend of mine. Like all of the people I have met from Burkina Faso, he emanated a calm, comforting, positive energy; an obvious contentment with life that is uncommon in the Western world. He seemed to have an understanding of the universe and the love that connects us all. When I first saw his art, it was like he had found the way to express all of this knowledge and share it with the world. Using a mixture of homemade clay and acrylic paint for color, Ramde brings a canvas to life with unique texture and dimension in a practice he calls “Vie Nenga” which is French for “Life Figures.” His sculpted paintings express a universal truth- the value of family, love, and work.

Burkina Faso: Earthen Homes with Geometric Patterns

Tiébélé Burkina Faso 4

The Kassena people of Burkina Faso build some of the most beautiful homes you’ll see, out of the most unusual of materials. The small, landlocked country is sandwiched between Ghana to the south and Mali to the north, yet the country still holds many diverse cultures. The Kassena village featured here – Tiébélé – is a small circular place covering just 3 acres and is the home of their most stunning architecture – decorated top to bottom with gorgeous black geometric patterns and images of local culture.