A series of artworks inspired by the Mandela House in Soweto and other similar matchbox houses in the African townships. Created for Sasi’s, an African restaurant in Athens, Greece.
I love Africa! For me it’s a constant source of inspiration and a solid point of reference for my life. I have travelled many times to the continent and I have even married a South African girl. So when my wife’s family was opening Sasi’s, their second restaurant in Athens, I was excited to collaborate with them on the decoration. They asked me to create a series of artworks inspired by the everyday African life but to also pay a tribute to Shaka Zulu and the long tradition of Zulus, Ndebele, Xhosa and all tribes of the land.
The basic element I used is the brick. Borrowed directly from the typical matchbox houses in the African townships the brick for me is a symbol of people’s creativity. A symbol of courage to build a safe place for the family. My bricks are sometimes stable and others unstable. And they are filled with other forms of African creativity. Fabrics, art, leather, animal skins…
I have printed these digital files on wood in 8 colours. Collaborating with the great team of Quality Printing Solutions, we have printed in a Swiss Q Impala 2 printer. 7 colours plus white. The white ink is used under some of the bricks in various shades, creating the illusion that the bricks are pieces of paper or metal that are sticked on the wood.
We have added 3 layers of UV on the final artwork adding dimension to the artwork.
The Mandela’s House in Soweto and other Matchbox houses in South Africa were my source of inspiration for this series.
The house is now a museum. Some bricks have been replaced with metallic plates caring informations and some powerful words like Hope, Equality, Liberation etc.
Charis Tsevis: website