Abdoulaye Konate creates large-scale textile-based installations using woven and dyed clothes, materials native to his homeland Mali. Konate?’s abstract and figurative tableaux explore both aesthetic language and diverse socio-political and environmental issues. Referring to the West-African tradition of using textiles as a means of communication, the artist balances the global issues with an intimate reference to his own life and country
His work often questions the ways in which societies and individuals have been affected by factors such as war, the struggle for power, religion, globalization, ecological shifts and the AIDS epidemic. His works look like wall tapestries: most of the time they are composed of layered, hand-embroide- red cotton ribbons. Colors play a big role and the choice depends not only on the composition he has in mind but also on the symbolic meaning: if he uses red it is possible that he refers to violence, white has a more positive connotation, black refers to death, yellow is both the land underneath and the sky above.
“I CAN SAY THAT IN MY ART THERE ARE TWO WELL-DEFINED LINES OF THOUGHT. ON THE ONE HAND, THERE IS THE PURELY AESTHETIC SIDE, INFLUENCED BY THE NATURE AND CULTURAL TRADITIONS OF MALI, MY COUNTRY, AND THAT DETERMINES THE COLORS AND THE MATERIALS OF MY WORK. ON THE OTHER HAND, THERE IS A MORE SPIRITUAL SIDE, WHICH STEMS FROM THE DESIRE TO INVESTIGATE AND DESCRIBE THROUGH MY WORK THE HUMAN SUFFERING, WHICH REFLECTS ITSELF ON THE RELATIONS BETWEEN STATES, POLITICS, THE ENVIRONMENT, SOCIETY AND THE FAMILY.”