Untitled (Sloop)
Hand and machine sewn cement packets, cotton
3000 x 2400 x 1700 mm
2017

 

The ongoing Tontine series features the re-purposing of found paper cement packets that are cut-up, washed, ironed then hand and machine sewn by the artist into large-scale two-dimensional works. The cement packets function as material metaphors of industrial progress and infrastructural development within the growing China-Africa relationship as well as notions of capital flight and issues surrounding FDI (foreign direct investment) in crude oil upstream and diamond-rich contexts such as Angola, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Originally devised in western Europe in the 17th century, a 'tontine' is an investment plan for raising capital. As a financial instrument, a tontine combines features of both a group annuity and a lottery. Subscribers pay agreed sums into the fund, and thereafter receive an annuity. As subscribers die, their shares devolve to the other participants, and so the value of each annuity increases. On the death of the last member, the scheme is wound up. In developing countries, the meaning of the term tontine has broadened to encompass a wider range of semi-formal group savings and microcredit schemes. The crucial difference between these and tontines in the traditional sense is that benefits do not depend on the deaths of other members.

 

 

   

Untitled (Heirloom)
Washed and hand-sewn cement packets, bamboo, cotton, brass bolt
4500 x 2400 x 150 mm
2016

 

   

Untitled (MIzzen)
Hand and machine sewn cement packets, IPE steel, enamel
2800 x 2500 x 100 mm
2017

 

 

   

Untitled (Lanteen)
Hand and machine sewn cement packets
3200 x 1500 x 80 mm
2018

 

 

   

Untitled (Rattan)
Hand and machine sewn cement packets, rattan cane, bamboo
2200 x 1100 x 20 mm
2018

 

 

 

  Untitled (Fujian)
Washed and hand-sewn cement packets, cotton, found objects, steel telephone pole, twine, bamboo
5400 x 2250 x 190 mm
2016

 

 

 

Untitled (Kwanza)
Washed and hand-sewn cement packets, cotton, found objects, twine, bamboo
2200 x 2300 x 120 mm
2016

 

 

 

 

Michael MacGarry, contemporary African art, African art, contemporary art, Africa, sculpture