In Haiti, the traditional art of converting oil drums into wall sculptures is a true mark of both man’s imagination and his resourcefulness in the face of dire economic circumstances.
Art is Haiti’s only inexhaustible resource. It is often both imaginative and surreal with echoes from the nation’s African ancestry. Often described as the western hemisphere’s poorest nation, it is perhaps one of its richest, culturally. Their art reflects resilience and hope amidst the disaster that has befallen its people. Once you view this art, you will wonder at its amazing production from simple materials they have on hand… oil drums.
Using 55 gallon oil drum cast-offs, the artist first removes both ends of the drum, reserving those pieces for smaller sculptures. Next, he stuffs the drum with straw, igniting it to burn out any residues. When it has cooled, he slices it down one side and pounds it into a flat four-by-six foot piece of metal “canvas.” With a stick of chalk, the artist then draws his intended design on to the metal sheet. Finally, the artist applies a hammer and chisel to the task; cutting, shaping and contouring the piece to its completion.
By purchasing Haitian oil drum art, you are not only supporting orphans, you are helping support the Haitian economy through the Haiti Orphan Project.