Dhow Sailboat Sail Painting with Andrea Bergart

New York City artists Andrea Bergart and Joe Ballweg painted a dhow sailboat sail during their stay at the Cuevas Tilleard Projects residency in Lamu, Kenya. Because of the demands of this monumental project—they required brilliant colors would adhere well to the sail, not crack or chip with movement, and hold up over time to the elements (sun, salt, sea, wind and rain)—Andrea and Joe opted to use Jacquard paints! 

Click here to view a project highlight video.

Founded in the 14th century, Lamu has retained its traditional Swahili character, it’s Islamic architecture and conservative Muslim tradition. Dhow sail boats, found along the coast of East Africa and India are hand crafted wooden boats with canvas sails – used for trade, transportation and leisure. The artists’ intentions were to collaborate on an image influenced by their new surroundings in Lamu in a format that would engage the local community with the residency. Seeing the strong connection between the town and the sea made the use of a dhow sail a natural vehicle for their art. The abstract imagery set the sail apart from the advertising-based designs sometimes found on sails. The use of nylon streamers further shifted the sail's presence from utility to art.