Very few places in the world have such a strong connection to iron as Sub-Saharan Africa. For over two millennia, the forging of one of the planet's most fundamental materials has revolutionised the continent and profoundly shaped its communities and cultures, from fields to homes and from battlefields to religious sites.
Coordinated by American blacksmith and artist Tom Joyce and the members of the scientific committee, the exhibition Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths presents around 230 pieces produced between the 17th century and the modern day, ranging from sculptures to currencies in a myriad of shapes and sizes, diverse musical instruments, weapons and prestigious objects, figures that are equally venerated and feared.
A unique compilation of works from over fifteen countries including Mali, Benin, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo is gathered in this exhibition.
Tom Joyce, artist and MacArthur Fellow originally trained in the art of forging iron.
Frapper le fer, l'art des forgerons africains("Striking Iron, The Art of African Blacksmiths") is organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA with major funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. Generous support is also provided by the Martha and Avrum Bluming Exhibition Fund.