Medium of Work:
Wide, whisper-soft scarves in radiant colors; multi-colored and energetically patterned placemats and wall hangings; and traditional African men’s shirts featuring vibrant radials achieved using hand-dyed methods. Artist Habibou Coulibaly offers an intriguingly wide and varied range of products.
In his workshop, Coulibaly uses bogolan, a traditional, regional dye made of tree leaves, bark, grains and clay. These dyes are made using various methods: soaking leaves, boiling bark, and fermenting clay in different containers are some of the means used to achieve the vivid, all-organic coloration characteristic of Coulibaly’s work.
Though he was born in Mali, Coulibaly currently lives in Yam Tinga, a town in Burkina Faso. Design inspiration comes from thousands of years of ancient motifs, ranging from the rote to the sacred. Masks, signs, and any number of abstract symbols appear across various items, each of which involves participation from multiple artists, using specialized skills to create a finished item; during creative processes of layout and design, for example, they are given free creative reign.
Coulibaly did not, of course, become a master of his craft overnight. He learned various art-making techniques originally from his family, then expanded his knowledge by collaborating with other artisans and attending nearby and out-of-town workshops. Over the years, Coulibaly has participated in widespread markets and exhibitions, both regionally and abroad.