The entrance of the Centre Cardio-Pédiatrique Cuomo in Dakar, with the Baobab sculptured by the "Groupe D-10"
"Groupe D-10": 10 individuals; a colour palette of personalities, both disparate and complementary; a collective of young visual artists who support each other and move forward together in an increasingly competitive art world; citizens of the world who conveys a dynamic image of where they come from: Senegal.
Behind this collective, one catalyst element: a humanitarian foundation and a seminal exhibition held exactly 10 years ago in a distant country…
Since this first event—Sene'Gala, organized by the Cuomo Foundation in Monaco in 2008—which gathered these young artists around a common project, they remain united to date. After having served as a great launchpad for their young careers, the Foundation has continued to follow their collective and individual paths with satisfaction and admiration. When the first cardio-paediatric structure in the whole West African region was designed in Dakar with the support of the Foundation, the D-10 Group naturally emerged as candidates to beautify the children’s health facility. The visual project they proposed for this purpose struck the selection committee.
Their names are today engraved at the entrance of the Center.
The work they produced for the facility has no equivalent in their country. A work that, starting from a heart-shaped baobab, covers the interior and exterior spaces in one single movement: paintings, mosaics, stained-glasses, sculptures and mobiles, all covered with vivid colours, as if borrowed from the colourful frocks of the small girls, awaiting for care in the hospital.
The point of convergence of the whole work is this monumental Baobab, stylised to perfection and springing straight out of the Senegalese collective memory. The work represents not the tree, but the idea that it symbolises: generosity, benevolence, hospitality… life in general. The baobab is the starting point of an odyssey, that the Child will undertake through the "Heart" of the baobab, an in-depth journey—one that the child initiates by entering into the Cuomo Center. Ultimately, the baobab will also be the exit point of this itinerary, where the child is welcomed back by the family, the small heart now beating with joy and a newfound vitality…
The authors of the artwork—this soothing cocoon designed for the little ones of the CCPC—were present on February 2, 2018, at the festivities organised for the official inauguration of the Centre. In front of the prestigious guests, accompanied by Maria Elena Cuomo, they unveiled a new series of works, specially produced for the ceremony. Around the theme of love and healing, artists had, once again, unleashed their colourful imagination. This series is at the same time a coherent and a disparate collection: coherent by the theme and the approach, disparate by the artistic signature of each one of them. This singularity, which they had to tone down in favour of the collective work of the Center, resurfaces here solidly.
Through this new series, though their loyalty towards the actions of the Foundation and—above all—through their wish to bring a serendipitous soothingness to life, these young artists have demonstrated, well beyond their indisputable artistic maturity, a deep humanism.
MEMBERS OF THE "GROUPE D-10" : FATOU MARIE FRANÇOISE AW, ABDOUKARIM FALL, ALBOURY FALL, COLY FAYE, CHEIKH TIDIANE KEITA, MAHMOUD BABA LY, AZIZ NDIAYE ET IBRAHIMA GNINGUE