Tribal Darts

Graham Foster

Bermudian (b. 1970)

Welded steel with shark teeth

2002

Private Collection

Graham Foster is one of Bermuda’s most significant contemporary
artists. Both a painter and sculptor, his paintings, which are
surrealist in approach, often incorporate Bermuda’s architecture,
and flora and fauna. His sculpture work, by contrast, is large in
scale and uses industrial material such as welded steel.
Of Tribal Darts he says: “I’ve always been struck by the expressive
qualities of tribal arts, especially those from the Pacific Rim
and Africa.
“In the early 2000s, I was creating a series of steel sculptures
using oxy-acetylene welding plus various blacksmithing
techniques, attempting to re-imagine what various tribes might
have created as votive, religious and ceremonial pieces, had
they had access to steel and welding, rather than wood carving.
“Using patinas, and rusting the steel, I wanted the sculptures to
look aged, almost as if they’d been dug up, plus borrow from
elements of tribal art, such as the shark tooth edged clubs of
various South Sea islands. I also used recurring pattern motifs from
some Western African tribes such as the Dogon and Bambara.”

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