Week Seven: Noah's Ark by Unknown Haitian Artist

February 17, 2019

Week Seven: Noah

Looking back on ten years of sacred art collecting, I have a delightful image of Noah's Ark to present this week from Haiti, made from an unusual material—recycled oil drums. The unknown creator of this playful piece of Noah adrift with his animals works with 55 gallon barrels, collected from the harbor of the capital of Port-du-Prince. Haitian metalworkers set the drums on fire to remove paint and rust, flattening them into sheets. Using chalk to trace patterns on the metal, they cut along the outlines, then, shape and emboss their images with hammer, chisel, and nails. This eco-friendly folk art genre, featured in the Schools of Sacred Art section, has given a much-needed boost to the economy of the impoverished Caribbean nation. (John Kohan)