The African bricks

A series of mosaic artworks inspired by the typical matchbox house in the African townships. Created for an African restaurant in Athens, Greece.

A series of artworks inspired by the Mandela House in Soweto and other similar matchbox houses in the African townships. Created for  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 studied Africa's culture for long. This is 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. They are created for and African restaurant in Athens.
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 digital Illustrations:
The water girl.
47.3" x 71.0", Digital print (7 colors + white with UV layer) on wood.
High resolution version here.
Staring at the sun.
86.8" x 45.3"  Digital print (7 colors + white with UV layer) on wood.
High resolution image here.
Working mother and child
47.3" x 71.0", Digital print (7 colors + white with UV layer) on wood.
High resolution version here.
The Pap lady
41.0" x 55.3", Digital print (7 colors + white with UV layer) on wood.
High resolution version here.
A Zulu girl
41.0" x 55.3", Digital print (7 colors + white with UV layer) on wood.
High resolution version here.
A Zulu warrior
27.6" x 27.6" Digital print (7 colors + white with UV layer) on wood.
High resolution version here.
Shaka Zulu
27.6" x 27.6" Digital print (7 colors + white with UV layer) on wood.
High resolution version here.
The final artworks:
Some details:
The inspiration:
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.
You can also see some photos from the printing session.
 
Created with custom developed scripts, hacks and techniques in Studio Artist, Adobe Creative Suite and Apple QuickTime Pro, listened to amazing African music.
Credits:
Artworks: Charis Tsevis
Printed by Quality Printing Solutions S.A.. Many thanks to Stefanos Makriyannis and his great team.
Restaurant photos: Marios Theologis.
Mandela's Soweto house photos by A. Bailey and Jack Tomczuk.
A variety of photos have been used from numerous photographers as reference, most of them are unknown to me. I would gladly mention anyone helped in this project.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Sanibonani!
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