Aliou "Badou" Diack
Badou experiences painting as a kind of feedback loop from weaving between his past experiences and sure sense of the future. He has become a regular resident at Thread, coming down from his native Dakar, for 3 – 5 week residencies. During his first stay, he was joined by painter Patrick Joel Tatcheda Yonkeu, and found his artistic sensibilities exploding and expanding.
Having grown up in a village not too dissimilar from Sinthian, where everything revolved around agriculture and the exploitation of the forest, the forest never ceases to be a store of surprises for him. He always brings to his work some of the animal nature—be it climbing trees, hunting rodents or returning to the darkest areas of that verdant space)---and his painting tells the story of those experiences.
In his words:
“Every time I put myself in front of a virgin canvas, the brush becomes a machete and the canvas a kind of dark and dangerous space that I have to cross by carving my way. As when I was crossing this forest every day to go to school when I was 7 years old, I was alone and without courage. I heard the presence of these animals which animated the fear in me. The fear of continuing the quest for knowledge and light.
Today it is no longer this fear that animates me but a nostalgia, and when I let my freedom express itself on a canvas or any other backdrop, I find this forest that unintentionally rocked me so much. And it is as if these animals always follow me ... but now I feel their rage, their fear, at losing their paradise. Indeed man encroaches on nature more and more without knowing that it is only he who benefits. He overexploited the forest, flouting the intimacy of these beings to support himself.
In truth, my painting persists in inviting the viewer to enter a scene of life which he must view with his third eye.He does not need to step back to see my work but rather enter it to better understand what is hidden there”.
As a successful Senegalese artist he is a great inspiration for the young people around Thread. Most recently, we nominated him to take part in the SEEDs project with Villa Romana, for which he has been an invaluable contributor.
See more of his work, here.