Bark Cloth to the fore of Fine Art

Its time the bark cloth took the spotlight in African Art if only for its 15 minutes. This traditional natural fabric comes from the outer bark of a fig tree and pounded into flat plain sheets which are then finished into a variety of home items like clothing, furniture, bedding and Canvas.

The bark cloth has quite a following in Uganda and more especially among the Bantu people of Buganda…. The Traditionalists.

Early this year in Kampala, I came across a good number of young artists turning to the bark cloth as their canvas of choice. It turns out the bark cloth is quite receptive to oil paint and acrylic. There are also come in unique colors and shades of brown that adds authentic feel and hue to a piece of work.

The few pieces I acquired short during my stay were quite the attraction at the UK Kitenge Festival (held at the London Irish Center in Camden) this year. At Artfrican Market we have taken it upon ourselves to promote the bark cloth and work with more African Artists to bring this long forgotten but still important piece of African Fabric and history back to the fore of African culture and heritage.

Christopher Oyo