Three gigantic sculptures on the beach of Senegal’s capital Dakar show the way to Amadou Fatoumata Ba’s studio, where the recycling artist works in the evenings.
Using worn rubber tyres, he creates a universe where unique everyday furniture, imposing sculptures and striking murals meet. Ba works with simple tools, some of which he has made himself, cutting, bending and weaving the resistant material with pure muscle power, giving the rubber new meaning. “I like tyres because they are indestructible. I dream of a world like this, consisting only of tyres”, says Ba. His work ethic is strongly influenced by his faith; he is a Baye Fall, a follower of a Muslim Sufi brotherhood, believing that hard work is proof of a form of godliness. “At night I’m in my own world. When I start working on a tyre, I cannot say what the outcome will be,” Ba explains. “When I first went out to search for old tyres, people thought I was crazy. I simply start and just follow my instincts. Tyres are an adventure in themselves. They accompany you on journeys, go with you wherever you want to go until they are flat and are thrown away. Everything that is discarded and declared useless can be brought back to life”.