01-10-2018 by Freddie del Curatolo
Malindi never ceases to offer unexpected treasures, and is increasingly becoming the Kenyan navel of art and culture.
One of the latest highlights is the sculpture garden of African art expert, journalist and gallerist Carola Rasmussen.
"Ndoro Sculpture Garden" is a permanent outdoor exhibition, in a beautiful tropical garden along Casuarina.
Along a winding path you can admire about three hundred stone sculptures, almost all in "serpentine stone", the African jade originating from Zimbabwe, a country that has a tradition of sculpting. That African creativity has over time inspired not only western sculpturs, but also painters.
Pablo Picasso was one of them with his surrealism. This is the same creativity Carola Rasmussen, the German enthusiast of Danish origin that started her almost forty years ago to collect sculptures from the southern African country.
"An exciting encounter that through the pieces collected, tells the life of the artists who produced them and the social evolution of a country and its people - explains Rasmussen - just think of the most celebrated of these artists, Bernard Matemera, who worked on a tobacco farm and began sculpting in his free time. He was shocked when he received for one of his pieces more than his monthly salary.
Carola Rasmussen has had her collection for all these years between Africa and Europe, where she has also exhibited in different settings. Lastly she decided that the natural place to set up a permanent exhibition was Malindi, a center of art and culture. The Swahili coast is through its history recognized as a magical place, collecting the different influences and expressions of sub-Saharan Africa.
The path in the sculture garden, that winds through palms, ficus, frangipani and other tropical plants, highlights the perfection of different faces, the play between rough stone and polishing, between different forms of animals (particularly elephants and nocturnal birds of prey) that brings out the special expressions of African symbolic and figurative art.
The special gallery of faces in the garden is fascinating. One walks along heads, some looking like bowls, others are elongated. There are black madonnas who left the raw material and captivating the audience.
In short, for those who love Africa, not only savannahs and beaches, but also the roots and the artistic spirit that reminds us where we all come from, this is a visual and sensory experience not to be missed.
Ndoro Sculpture Garden can be visited only by appointment, by calling 0798461564 or by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
There is also a shop where one can buy smaller sculptures and other arts and craft.
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