Kris Saia

This young artisan started learning in 1995 and in 2002 was already working on his own. He did not start as an artisan, but the profession somehow found him. Because he has family in Senegal, he visited them often. During one of these visits, he met a Senegalese artisan specialized in sand painting and immeditaly felt interested. He learnt from him for some time and when he felt confident enough, he started working on his own. His technique is unusual in the Gambia and difficult because most of the colors have to be created. One natural color is black, though it still needs to be treated in order to be used. Tire is burnt and the powder is mixed with normal sand and put to dry. He’s become quite a traveller, because he needs to move around in search for the other colors. He depicts in his paintings anything that comes to his mind, and plays with colors to create new colors, mixing yellow and red to create orange or blue and yellow to create purple. He loves his profession and is proud to teach his younger brothers, one of which is currently living in Senegal. Father of 5 children, he wants them to follow their own interests.

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