Seyni Awa Camara is a Senegalese ceramicist renowned as the "Magicienne de la Terre" in her local community. Growing up in Casamance, she learned traditional pottery techniques from her mother and later expanded her craft to create not only utilitarian ceramics for her family but also intricate sculptures sold in the local market. Initiated into her art alongside her twin brothers by the forest spirits during adolescence, Seyni's life and work reflect the mysticism inherent in the animistic practices of African villages.
Working tirelessly in her house in Bignona, Seyni Awa Camara has become a living legend in her village. She continues to shape thousands of characters—men, women, and various animals—giving life to her unique cosmogony. The anthropologist Michèle Odéyé-Finzi began collecting her works in the 1980s, propelling Seyni Awa Camara into the international art scene, with numerous solo exhibitions showcasing her totemic creations that evoke bestiaries and maternity scenes. The artist's sincerity in conveying emotions through her art has led to widespread recognition, with her works exhibited in major Western modern art museums, including the Centre Pompidou in 1989 in the legendary exhibition ‘Les magiciens de la Terre’, and the Biennale de Venise in 2001.
Seyni Awa Camaraives and works in Bignona, Senegal