Seni Awa Camara
Born c. 1945, Bignona, Senegal
Lives and works in Bignona, Senegal
Seni Awa Camara’s outlook on life is based on revealed truths, on timeless stories, on the world of human beings and the objects that surround them, and on her status as a Ouolof woman with an obligation to unite past and present. She was raised by her mother, who was also a potter, and who taught her sculpture when she was still a child. She had two twin brothers, and all three retreated into the forests of Casamançe to obey a mysterious and divine initiation. “We were sheltered by God’s spirits, who taught us to work with clay.” Camara models clay and gives shape to stories, events, and feelings that have been dreamt, revealed, or created from fantasy. She has gathered a substantial number of her sculptures in her home which could be described as a “theater without a stage,” full of objects and human figures placed according to size—ranging from examples less than twelve inches high to those which tower at eight feet. For Camara, her figures represent the world as she sees it, with people that are, good, bad, beautiful, or ugly. All these creatures are modeled in the yard in front of her house, and fired in an open-hearth kiln.
She explains the distorted faces of her creations as a response to our indifference to our ancestors. Or when forty small monsters are clinging to a pregnant mother, it’s because we’re all fleeing from something! Before unveiling her “secrets,” she locks herself in with her talisman (an ox-horn) and everything becomes possible. Regarding art, she answers: “I am thinking, I have an idea, I am working.”
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Seni Awa Camara entre les éléments
El Vientre de la Tierra
Seni Camara & Ndoye Douts
Galerie Nathalie Fiks
Seyni Awa Camara- Terracotas
Galerie Nathalie Fiks
Paris - France
De Crescenzo & Viesti
Rome - Italy
Seni Awa Camara
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Alpha Crucis, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway (01.22 to 09.30 2020)
2019 Expressions d'Afrique Inside Jean Pigozzi's Collection
Galerie Gmurzynska - Zurich
23 Oct 2019 – 31 Jan 2020
Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier. Les Initiés, un choix d’œuvres (1989 – 2009) dans la collection d’art africain contemporain de Jean Pigozzi. Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France (04/26/17 to 09/04/17)
Figure Libre, Galerie Nathalie Fiks, Paris
Chic Art Fair, Galerie Nathalie Fiks, Paris
Africa? Una nuova storia
Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, Italy
Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli
Arts of Africa
Monaco - France
African Art Now : Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection
Museum of Fine Art Houston
Houston - USA
Rocca di Umbertide
Contemporary Art Center.
49th International Art Exhibition
Venise - Italy.
Il Ritorno Dei Maghi
Contemporary Art Cultural Center, Mexico.
Groninger Museum, Netherland.
The Atlantic Center of Modern Art, Las Palmas de Gran Canary, Spain.
Galerie des Institutd Für Auslandsbeziehungen.
Landesmuseum, Oldenburger Kunstverein.
Magiciens de la Terre
Georges Pompidou Center.
La Grande Halles de la Villette.
Les Initiés, un choix d’œuvres (1989 – 2009) dans la collection d’art africain contemporain de Jean Pigozzi. Editions Dilecta, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France. Exhibition catalogue.
Seyni AwaCamara entre les éléments
Book + DVD - Galeria Kalao, Spain
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Electa & Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli.
Exhibition catalogue. Published by TF Editores & FMGB Guggenheim Bilbao Museum.
Arts of Africa: The Contemporary Collection of Jean Pigozzi
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Skira Edition & Grimaldi Forum Monaco.
African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Merrell.
Tribal Soul, Metropolitan Body.
Contemporary African Art
Edited by : L'Artière. Bilingual text Italian and English p.66-69.
Regine of Africa. Seni Camara by Enrico Mascelloni E Sarenco.
Exhibition catalogue. Bilingual text Italian English. P.31-58.
Contemporary Art of Africa.
Seni Awa Camara p.54-57, text in English by Louise Bourgeois.
Edited by Andre Magnin & Jacques Soulillou.
Publisher Harry N. Abraams, New-York.
Solitude d'Argile. Légende autour d'une vie.
Seni-Awa Camara’s sculptures.
Book, texts in French by Michèle Odeye-Finzi, 60 pages.
Edition : L'Harmattan.
Africa Hoy. Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno.
Exhibition catalogue, bilingual text Spanish & English. Seni-Awa Camara, p.67 -71.
Las palmas, Gran Canaria.
Magiciens de la Terre.
Exhibition catalogue, text in French.
Georges Pompidou Center, Grande Halle de la Villette. Paris, France.