African Connections - The Batiks -1992-1997

Submitted by root on Sat, 12/02/2017 - 16:06

The Idea:  African Connections was a project which explored the links between traditional African dances and contemporary social dancesIt led to the creation and exhibition of 24 Batiks plus the creation of 24 flick books illustrating the chosen dances..

You will find a full description of African Connections under Dance  by clicking here.

African Connections  took place over 5 years - it started with research - followed by bringing the artists together to work on the dances.  Once the dances were agreed upon work on the Flick Books and the Batiks started.

African Connections was an unique project in that involved collaboration between dancers, experts in black dance, and visual artists.

The Batiks were created by Jan Green. Jan was born and educated in Liverpool, though her grandparents came from Antigua, a place she visits regularly.   In 1972 she moved to North Wales.  In 1985 Jan studied  Art and Design, specialising in textiles, at Wrexham College Art College and went on to produce work which drew on Celtic and Ethnic imagery.  She first worked with the Black-E in 1989.

H Patten, Bill Harpe, Peter Badejo and Jan Green at workJan Green, Bill Harpe and Maria Agatha working on African Connections

Above Jan working with H Patten, Bill Harpe, Peter  Badejo and Maria Agatha on African Connections

The Batiks

The batiks were designed to be exhibited in two parallel lines with African dances on one side and European dances on the other.  And indeed this is how they were first shown but we have no photographs of this.

The Batiks below are set up in their pairs.  Currently they are all named apart from one pair - we are still working on this.

Above left Idcobale from the Yoruba people of Nigeria matched to Street Dance from the late 80s..  Above right Kroso Northern Nigeria  matched to Jive  from the 50s.

Above left Headbanging (70s) matched to Yaduyadu from South Africa and above right Pogo from the late 70s matched with Borano from Kenya.

Above left  the Kete from South Ghana matched against the Hand Jive  from the 50s.  Above Right is currently unknown.

Above left  Disco matched with the Utando Upala from South Africa and above right The Locomotion from the 60s and the Vimbuza from Central Africa

Above left the Kitchen from South Africa  matched against Break Dancing. Above right the Simdimba from Tanzania matched with House  from the 80s

Above left Skank matched against the Gahu from Ghana.  Above right Butterfly from the Caribbean matched with Butterfly as a social dance of 80s

The Batiks on Display

The Batiks on display in the Gallerythe Batiks on displayThe batiks on displaythe batiks on display

The Exhibition - that is the Batiks and The Flick Books is available for touring.