A little over two years ago, we were introduced to the work of Penda Diakite, a US-based visual artist who employed the use of mixed media to create captivating art pieces.
Hakili Jagabo (English translation: reflection or exercise of the mind), is Diakité’s latest collection, which is a juxtaposition of her traditional upbringing in Mali, West Africa and her urban upbringing in the United States.
Diakite explains that, ‘In Mali it was instilled in me that every surrounding aspect of life was a part of me and I a part of it — from small insects to large animals, to the plants that bless us with oxygen every day; we are all one. As a result it is important to live in harmony with everything around us — a concept that was a contrast to my life in the USA where I observed more of a consumer life style rather than a ‘give and take’ life style. My pieces are an observation of what the human race would look like as a result of the everyday choices we make, our experiences and our surroundings.’
‘Each piece is a commentary on how aspects of our lives define us as individuals — they are essentially reflections of us as human beings’
“Whisperer” for example is a complete reflection of the underlying theme of symbiosis in traditional Mali: we all carry a soul that is valued in society: insect, plant, human being etc...
“Wealth of Knowledge” is all about the definition of wealth. I’ve been given so much knowledge on the history of West Africa from thousands of years back as it is a valuable part of tradition passed down by griots. Knowledge is a wealth that can never be stolen. Then there is the contrasting idea that wealth is purely physical material things: money.
Click here to view more pieces from the collection. Also, click here to view our interview with Penda Diakité
About the Artist
Filmmaker and mixed media artist Penda Diakité uses collage and watercolours to create mesmerizing pieces of artwork. Her artwork is inspired by thoughts and experiences from her birth home of Oregon, USA and Mali where she spent parts of her life growing up.
Cover Image: White Noise © by Penda Diakite