Client: Art in Embassies, Dept of State
Location: Bamako, Mali
Completion date: 2006
Art in Embassies
Negalan was commissioned for the entry hall of the new American Embassy in Bamako, Mali in 2006. It is one of 10 works installed in the new embassy.
The cultural heritage of Mali is rich with unique architectural vernacular, metalworking, pottery,
music, and photography; all of which are reflected in the permanent art collection of the new U.S. Embassy in Bamako. Included in the collection are sculpture, textiles, photographs, paintings, installations, and mixed media works by Malian artists and American artists exploring Mali through their art.
The art collection was curated by Virginia Shore and Assistant Curator Claire D’Alba of the Art in Embassies Program ‘s NEC team of the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, and was installed in September, 2006. Special thanks to the Academy for Educational Development, Shawn Davis, and Nestor Hernandez; Mary Jo Arnoldi, Smithsonian curator; and Stephanie Syptak, United States Embassy, Bamako.
"Negelan is a wall installation composed of elements: the iconography that has occurred in my work for many years. Cut-out steel figures, feathers, hands, and geometric patterning comprise the intricate, lacy steel elements of this large-scale wall installation. I found that many of the steel shapes were scraps from previous work. Word relationships are also at play in this work. ”Negelan” is a pun on the Bamanankan word “bogolan”: “bogo” is the word for clay; “nege” is the word for metal. By using bogolan patterning in metal, my piece becomes negelan." Janet Goldner