My tribute to east african maasai culture | Jane Ladan

You are invited to the vernissage of Jane Ladan.
Vous êtes invités au vernissage de l’exposition de Jane Ladan


Thursday, MAY 23rd , 5:30p.m – 8:00p.m
Le jeudi 23 mai de 5:30p.m – 8:00p.m

Lee Matasi Gallery, Ottawa School of Art, 35 George Sreet, Ottawa
Gallerie Lee Matasi, École d’Art d’Ottawa, 35 rue george, Ottawa

The exhibit runs from May 23rd to June 5th,2013
L’exposition se déroulera du 23 mai au 5 juin, 2013

Jane details of work 1

MY tribute to East African Maasai Culture

The following are five Maasai-inspired neck pieces which I created in late 2012 and early 2013.

While living in Kenya in 2007, I became fascinated by the Maasai people, for their very distinctive dress and jewellery, and the rich and beautiful biodiversity that is found in Kenya and other parts of Eastern Africa.  I was particularly struck by the Maasai’s beautiful beaded jewellery and circular necklaces.

Combining this experience with the Indian Ocean influence and my background I decided to integrate my oceanic reefs’ research with the concept of circular Maasai necklaces. To represent the multiple layers of necklaces normally worn by Maasai woman, I sculpted sea anemones on my pieces.

Each neck piece is unique. Instead of using colours and geometric forms found in the sea world or in original Maasai artwork, I painted my necklaces in the distinct colours of exotic birds found in the Kenyan forest;  in contrast the delicate urchins’ primary spine give the illusion of layering and of birds’ feathers.

Most of my pieces have bright colours as in the Maasai culture each colour has a meaning: blue for the water that gives life to the grass and cattle; green representing land, grass and health; yellow and orange signifying hospitality; and black for life’s hardships. Wool was used to balance each neckpiece and to replace the long-beaded strings which are generally used in the traditional Maasai necklaces.