Arts & Crafts in Gabon

Last week a couple of expos showcasing local artists’ designs took place around town. While many souvenirs unique to Africa can be found down at the souvenirs market, most of them are imported because there still isn’t much of a tourism market here (at least I think this is the reason why). Needless to say I wanted to hop on the chance to purchase some things made by people here because I wasn’t sure when the opportunity would again present itself (come to think of it, this is the logic behind 40% of my purchases in general…the other 60% belong to Amazon Prime).

The first expo took place at Club Saoti, a sports club (think country club without golf) popular with the expats. While I can’t say for sure (because, you know, my French is basically non-existent), I think most of the vendors were French expats who had deftly incorporated colorful African textiles and designs into many western items.

many items had a Western/African fusion theme to them
Many items had a Western/African fusion vibe to them

The second expo consisted of works by a local designer and artist who frequently opens her home to showcase her collection. On this particular day, her designs from the previous season were on sale to make room for the 2015 collection. I loved admiring her meticulous handiwork and creativity.

From left to right, top to bottom: original artwork comprised of fabric, paint and wax and coated with resin: clutches made w/ African prints and suede; shoes remastered w/ African textiles, and bracelets w/ African fabric
From left to right, top to bottom: original artwork comprised of fabric, paint and wax and coated in resin: clutches made w/ African prints and suede; shoes remastered w/ African textiles, and bracelets w/ African fabric

I ended up purchasing various bags, both as gifts to others and to myself because I can never turn down a good bag.

My Gabonese souvenirs. Hopefully one day I'll find a few things that the entire family can appreciate.
My Gabonese souvenirs. Hopefully one day I’ll find a few things that the entire family can appreciate.

Speaking of arts and crafts, I’ve been getting a bit crafty lately…more to come on that front.

For more information on these Libreville locales:
Club Saoti Facebook page
WAX me Facebook page

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