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Njogu Touray (Artist)
 Culture & Traditions   Arts & Crafts   Artists     
Background & Biography:
Njogu Touray is a well known Gambian artist who was born in 1960 and began his early artistic career by tinkering with art using different natural media found in his environment such as beach sand and cowry shells.

In his early youth Njogu began by creating Fanal lantern lights and various indigenous masks used in cultural festivities. He later produced household decorations for families in his neighbourhood and soon the word spread about his talent and he became a household name.

Style and Works:
Njogu creates his own rich vibrant colours using natural resins and pigments extracted from various indigenous tree bark and plants which he uses on his paintings. This obsession with natural materials started in his childhood and is indicative of his environmental concerns about local detrimental damage including the felling of trees. His technique of using alternative media is similar to another local painter named Etu. He is captivated by the magnificent ruins of the ancient Old City of Timbuktu such as his work 'Trace of Old', which portrays the ancient city of in often rich, stark natural tones of the African scenery. Another of his works includes  'Seeing Beyond' which shows the revered and often sacred baobab tree. Some of his paintings as well as Etu's adorn the villas at the AU village in Brufut Heights near Ghana Town. He has opened his own art gallery called Sakura Art Studio - 'Tahalart' - which means in Wolof 'to be stained' with or 'do art'. It is located in the Latrikunda area of Serrekunda just off Kairaba Avenue.

Exhibits and Tours:
He has travelled internationally and since the late 1980s his works have been exhibited in art galleries in the US, Europe and nearer to home in Senegal. For example in 1989 he held an exhibition of his works at the Africa Centre in the UK and in 2002 he held an exhibition in Oregon titled 'Colors of Africa'.

Local Participation:
As well as being an environmental campaigner he is eager to encourage children to enter into the arts and encourages them to try out different techniques and mixed media.



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