Gallery Publications & Books

We publish books and paper products that draw on the riches of the Gallery’s Collections.

PHEMBA, THE NURTURING MOTHER IN YOMBE SOCIETY

A JOURNEY THROUGH FEMININE SYMBOLISM

By Coryse Mwape Dolin & Alain Naoum
Print Book,  15 x 23 cm  38 pgs
English
Publish date: 11 June 2016

A universal theme, the ‘mother and child’ is a subject that is found as commonly in African cultures as in others (Western, etc.). It can be expressed in different kinds of art (for example, sculpture and painting) and evokes a fundamental feature of humanity.

Here, we will tackle this theme using the framework of a journey in time and space. Starting with a general approach to the theme, the main objective is to highlight the various cultural codes and symbolic foundations that underlie these images and depictions.

The ‘mother and child’ theme suggests a biological connection, or perhaps a relationship based on protection, nourishment and the transmission of values. As well as these maternal concepts, it also evokes more abstract notions, which go back, on the one hand, to the place of the mother and wife in society and her role in bringing up children, and, on the other hand, to the original nurturing mother, the founder of the civilization.

Starting, therefore, with a concept that has spread to numerous cultures, it is easy to explore this notion using various interpretative frameworks (biological, social and spiritual), and so to highlight the cultural specificities of the civilizations that have used this female image. To do so, we shall approach this theme using various works of art, created in different places and eras.

IMPORTANT ANCESTRAL TEKE FIGURE / IMPORTANTE STATUE D’ANCÊTRE TEKE

By Alain Naoum, François Neyt, Coryse Mwape Dolin, Alain Lecomte
Print Book, 40 Pages
English & French
Publish date: 18 June 2015

cover

 

The figures carved by Teke artists are characterized by slightly bent legs, a columnar torso framed by arms bent at right angles and an enlarged head with typical linear facial scarifications and a trapezoidal beard. Their height varies from between 15 and 8o cm and these figures can be used either for an individual or for the entire community.

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