Ferragus’ purpose is to organise cultural and philosophical events, including exhibitions and publications, as well as to arrange and support charitable and educational activity in all countries and fields.
Ivan Vandermeersch, Chairman
Natalie Nicaise, Treasurer
Robert Hostetter, Board Member
Peter de Groote, Managing Director
Ferragus’ purpose is to organise cultural and philosophical events, including exhibitions and publications, as well as to arrange and support charitable and educational activity in all countries and fields. To those who work for the Ferragus non-profit organisation, liberty, fraternity and equality are more than just empty words. Yet this does not mean that we are egalitarians who want to level down. In today’s society, difference is accepted as an ideal – it is sought out, because difference is the starting point for building bridges. And that’s as it should be between humans. It’s a question of humanism.
In the name of difference, everyone is welcome to work with Ferragus, regardless of skin colour, and be they practising or lapsed Catholics, pastors, defrocked priests, liberals, socialists, communists, straight or gay, transgender, and so on. Likewise, difference is looked for in the artistic activities that Ferragus will organise. Music will dialogue with painting; jazz and reggae will converse with classical music; Broadway will be seen virtually side by side with Offenbach. This explains why we are promoting this book on metal in African art, alongside everything previously published on African wooden objects.
The goal is to decode the ‘why’ behind things. To be able to work with Ferragus, you need the ability to listen: to hear, decode and then respond – in a manner that is respectful of everyone’s views, in the name of that quest for difference which is so dear to Ferragus. Prohibition will be prohibited. This principle of looking for difference also means that Ferragus does not turn a blind eye to those who are most deprived. The proceeds from this book will go to a non-profit organisation that gives disabled children the chance to practise team sports. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, ‘It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.’
Ferragus is a Belgian association based in Brussels, contact us at email@example.com to get in touch with us.
For too long, African metalworkers, blacksmiths and foundry men were, with the exception of the creators of the Benin and Ife sculptures, regarded as skilled craftsmen rather than as artists. However, in some communities, the masters of forge and foundry richly deserve to be classified as artists. This catalogue is the result of the collaboration between the collector Christine Waelbroeck-van Gaver and the author. The catalogue highlights the art of metalworking in West Africa and features pictures of 264 artefacts, several of them are major works of art, others are extremely rare.
The author, Peter de Groote, studied law, political sciences and cultural anthropology, he did field work on Sumba and in several African countries, he is a retired tribal art dealer, a retired lecturer on African art and an expert in non-European art for public and private institutions. For 27 years he’s been delegated administrator of the Friends of the Royal Museum of Central Africa. He’s been interested in metalwork for over 30 years.