We love our cotton fabric. Sometimes we just dont want to stitch in it! Therefore we put our hands together to find out what more can be done to make justice for this wonderful fabric!
Finding multiple usage for the fabric is important. It is all connected, the whole of the cotton chain from the farmer to the end user. Increase demand, secure opportunities and work. Simple!
Of course, adding beautiful art… on top of the cotton canvas… It will make the final owner appreciate the fabric even more!
We connected with well-known artist in The Gambia, Mr Njogu Touray. After explaining about our visions we brainstormed what could be done… Little did we know back then, that we were on the verge of establishing a project that will last for a year – at least!
Cotton is important in The Gambia. It has been part of the local life for generations. When Njogu reminded us that woven cotton fabric is for many ethnic groups what a baby is swept in when it is born. When the person dies, it is the same cotton fabric he/she is being buried in. From Cradle to Grave – Heritage and Traditions. That became out theme for the project.
We contacted Bjørg Thorhallsdottir, a beloved and famous artist based in Norway. We asked if she might be interested… Bjørg has been in The Gambia before (which is where we met for the first time) and sponser a child through the organisation Heartlift. So Gambia is well known for Bjørg. She did not need long time to think before she said yes!
Wow – having two brilliant, yet different artists onboard on this project! An amazing opportunity for any young artist to apply for!
Njogu Touray is self-taught and started his art career by painting on t-shirts before he was discovered, and opportunities opened up. He is passionate about the environment and to support young local artists to succeed. Njogu is today one of The Gambia´s most renowned local artists.
Bjørgs Thorhallsdottirs´ overall art project is to inspire others and remind us to enjoy life, which is reflected throughout her art. She uses different techniques and is involved in many projects through her art. He unique style is very popular, and today Bjørg is one of the most selling artists in Norway.
So, what is The Cotton Trail Art 2020?
It is a project created to give young artists an opportunity to develop their skills under mentorship by two very successful international artists, Njogu Touray and Bjørg Thorhallsdottir. Through this project, we aim on working on different subjects from developing individual art styles and different techniques to look into marketing and different sales venue that will work for the individual artists and their work.. Keeping cotton as the theme and the main material. At the end of the project, The Gambia Cotton Trail will also have a wonderful group of young talented artists to engage for assignments, maybe ordered by you! Click here to e-meet our Artists!
At the end of the project, The Gambia Cotton Trail will also have a wonderful group of young talented artists to engage for assignments, maybe ordered by you!
It is a yearlong project, and the first stage took place in January and involved the Cotton Trail Art Week;
- An inspirational journey upcountry to meet the origin of the cotton, the farmers, before continuing to JanJanbureh, Njau and Women Initiative who spin our cotton.
- Back at the coast, a 3- day interactive workshop followed at Footsteps Eco Lodge.
- The result of the workshop is being presented at this exhibition at Senegambia Beach Hotel.
You can read more about the productive week (actually 10 days!) here.
Unfortunately, Bjørg had to return to Norway (for this time!), but the following couple of months, several workshops were held at Njogu´s studio in Latrikunda. To build up to an exhibition in april. A true honour to be working alongside such an artist and his work! The young artists also joined a couple of sales outlet, to compare different venues for their products.
/// due to covid-19, all activities from end March – end June has been postponed. /// we will update here when new plans and dates in place /// read more here.