Creative Africa: Etiyé Dimma Poulsen Sculptures Inspired By Traditional African Art

Artist, Etiyé Dimma Poulsen, creates intriguing mixed-media sculptures inspired by traditional African art. Her pieces are characterised by distinctive forms, rendered in earthy colours to show humanity stripped back to its most basic forms, this gives them a sense of frailty.

Poulsen bases her sculptures on traditional African art, seeing them as a kind of reinvention of ancient art forms; and on a personal level nostalgia for a continent, she left long ago. Poulsen hails from a diverse multicultural background. Born in Ethiopia, she was adopted by a Danish family living in Tanzania and attended an English school in Kenya before going to Denmark with her family. She established herself as an artist in France, before moving to Belgium in 2003 where she currently has a workshop.


Etiyé Dimma Poulsen Sculptures inspired by traditional African art


Using African art as a base Poulsen’s creations also display influences from ancient Greek art and through her work she primarily creates Primordial figures in a process which could be called an examination of human nature.

Processes like baking the clay in the oven draw parallels with one of humanity’s basic, most essential activities; that of cooking. Harnessing the elements of earth and fire, the sculptures are handmade using iron mesh and clay – soil from the earth – which is then painted before being fired in the kiln where the final results are left to chance due to the natural chemical.

For me making is a process, a stream. It is about the joy of living, of making. - Etiyé Dimma Poulsen Click To Tweet


Grouping the sculptures together gives them a sense of belonging, interpreted as a way of highlighting our shared humanity.


– Tapiwa Matsinde


[Image credits: The images shown belong to Etiyé Dimma Poulsen. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]




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