Everything around us is nothing but colours. We ourselves are colour.
To me, colour is life. So I say ‘I like colour’ instead of saying ‘I like painting’.” Chéri Samba (contemporary artist)
In this exhibition, Africa is not seen through the lens of its wonderful landscapes, or its fascinating fauna and flora, with their many colours. However, the golden, ochre and green shades of its landscapes, as well as the brilliant whites, flamboyant yellows and reds, and bright blues of its plants and birds, have inspired and become a part of African art, from its origins up to the present day. Here, you will discover everyday objects, including jewellery, statuettes, puppets, clothes and textiles.
You will also learn how African art places equal importance in form and colour. Surprised? You may be, because objects presented in the West since the end of the nineteenth century have generally been black, without accessories, clothes or colours, in order to show only the form. However, colour is essential, giving life and meaning to these creations.
Along the visitor trail, you can explore pigment making techniques, from cave paintings to the reds, blacks and whites of religious rituals, the traditional yellows, greens and blues, as well as the metals and industrial materials used over the past two centuries to add to or replace this palette.
You will discover how colour has a symbolic, and sometimes political and social value, and how, even though the West has strongly influenced Africa since the nineteenth century, it has managed to adapt clothing fashions while preserving its identity.
Entrance to the Musée des Confluences and the exhibition is free with the Lyon City Card