I took my love for art to another level by identifying a student of mine who is so gifted I couldn’t ignore this. I recently got rid of old art (gave them out) I had and started a new collection. I hired my student to do some art pieces for me because she was not that expensive. Her prices are affordable compared to those from a fancy shopping mall. Unlike the previous paintings I usually request, these had one theme, Africa. These lovely paintings my student did scream Africa and I love them.
Art is fluid. I am not quite sure I have met anyone that looks like the women in these pictures. This is what someone thought of so it’s good enough for me. This was a set and my student charged me about 24 dollars for these. That is not the price you will find them,especially as a tourist.
I found myself at it again. I was travelling and this time not so far off. I went to the southern parts of the country. It’s amazing what kind of art was there!
Artists use their emotions, beliefs, and senses to come up with fine art. Some have defined art as something that the imagination and skill have come up with. This imagination and skill express ideas or feelings. I was willing to take a tour and appreciate what runs through some African artists’ heads.
It is out there that there are many types of art the main types being visual, literary, and performing arts. This tour I took showcases the first mentioned type of art and that is visual. The other type was instruments used in performing arts.
Where to find these art stands I went south of Zambia and decided a tour to and around these markets was in order. I have seen some locals and tourists admire these pieces. The reason some tourists can’t buy loads of art from these stands is because they have to travel light. Some have to move from country to country. You will find this art in some hotels and one place that has a variety of art is Mukuni Park Curio Market. So let’s see what I found and that you and I must appreciate as it was someone’s well-thought-out idea.
The art you are likely to find is:
1) Art you can wear
Fashion is subjective, sometimes. As we travel and also depending on countries’ rules and laws about fashion, we can wear what we want. It is important to study your environment beforehand so you don’t offend anybody there.
Speaking of my homeland, Zambia, you could wear what is a thing and we love to see you dress like us. On this trip, I happened to meet an American who has some work to do here. They wore an African-themed shirt and it made me ask about where they got it. They said they got the material and made it themselves!! If you can’t beat us, do join us.
Our materials known as Chitenge can sometimes have way too many colours on one piece. When picking mine, I am usually mindful of my skin tone so I don’t have to look like a psychedelic disco ball!
My suggestion is you try getting pieces of material with only two colors. You could get these for about 10 to 13 dollars for 6 meters. Find a good tailor whilst you are at it. Tailors would charge you about 7 to 10 dollars or more. You could pay more depending on how complicated the pattern of your outfit is. You could also use the fabric as a wrapper, the way African ladies would do it.
You will find plain material or already-made products from materials like side bags, aprons, men’s shirts, bottoms, baby bags and to add a bit of attitude, there is nothing wrong with adding some Jewelry to go with your outfit. Again, these come in many colors and you don’t want to be twinning with the rainbow so pick wisely and rock that African outfit like a local!
You may ask yourself what to wear on your feet. Men could wear smart kinds of shoes. Try ditching the sneakers and hiking boots. Another look for a guy would be to wear black or brown trousers. Wear your chitenge shirt, smart trousers and one of these slippers. For the ladies, these slippers are a biggie. The slippers make any African outfit look good.
2) Art to display in homes, offices or hotels
There is no need to buy big displays as a tourist. You can get miniature versions of some of the cool stuff I found.
I have seen some five-star franchise hotels here with African themes. They have displayed tasteful items like handwoven grass basket plates and mats. Some decorative storage containers are made from wood and coated with varnish. This is also true for what I found out were chairs carved in the form of different animals.
Your hotel or temporary apartment in Zambia could use a facelift. Slap the walls with some African-themed paintings. Some artists transformed wire into a baobab tree. Cute.
3) Art for other uses
There was art of all sorts. Two major ones are already mentioned. Some belonged to a different category. We all know that when the weather is so cold, we get cracked feet. To help stop or reduce that, some use these stones when showering. The stones help so that cracks don’t look dirty. After that, It is necessary to add lotion to stop that.
I also noticed that the elderly were also catered for. If you can’t afford a walker for the old, why not try our walking sticks which come with different designs.
I even saw some art that fell in the category of entertainment. This is a headgear worn by the Ngoni tribe of Zambia. You place it on your head as a crown and it can be used at dance events. I doubt it’s a big deal if you wore it to feel like a part of this tribe. I have worn it before at a hotel I watched the Ngoni dancers’ boogie.
The two other pieces of artwork fell in the entertainment category. These were African drums and the chess board. I play the drums at the intermediate level because I am low-key musical, lol! I had to leave this market.
Before I left, I realized the chess board had pieces that looked far from the king, queen, bishop, knight, pawn, and rook. Believe me, I didn’t have enough time to ask what these African pieces were. I wondered if there were other African rules in this game, lol!