Few in the West know that the West African country of Mali is home to more fiber artists and designers than most other countries in the world.
Examples of Mali’s extraordinary legacy of textile arts and complex graphic statements were recently presented at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco. The exhibit gave long overdue recognition to contemporary Malian fabric artisans as a major form of the aesthetic of Mali.
The exhibition also featured other forms of traditional art and craft including wooden puppets and life-sized masked and costumed marionettes. The energy exhibited by these contemporary artisans sheds a new light on a whole world of application to home fashion, available to those who are bold and seek the unique.
There are not many times when you come across an artisan who exhibits such passion for her culture and her work. I find this to be alive and well in Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. Her soulful connection to the tradition of African textiles is a powerful expression of the things that are important in her life.
I am more fortunate than most that I live in Ms. Robinson’s home town of Columbus, Ohio, where her storytelling through art is legendary. With the help of her close friend, Xenobia Bailey, we get a glimpse of the creative environment that inspires Ms. Robinson, her sanctuary. We are so blessed to have her. For Aminha’s story and a timeline of her art go to Aminha’s World.