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Watch: Bicycles, art and the cycle of life, artist transforms abandoned bikes

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By Sinead Barry  with Reuters
Watch: Bicycles, art and the cycle of life, artist transforms abandoned bikes
Copyright  Reuters

As a child, Meissa Fall always saw shapes in the bikes he would clean for his father. Now, he transforms these visions into sculptures, creating art from abandoned bicycles.

"I would clean a second time around and in my head, I would transform them into birds, personalities, anything because bikes have human and animal forms so it is not hard to transform them," he explained.

Fall creates his sculptures using every single part of the bike, making sure no material goes to waste. In his own words, his work is "closing the circle in the cycle of life".

"With some bikes, including the luggage carrier and everything, you can find 2,000 pieces and none of them works without the other. There is a union, solidarity, they are together, they are soldered together," he says.

The rotation of bicycle wheels could be said to have acted as a motif of the artist's life. As a young man, Fall raced around Saint Louis, Senegal, on a motorbike. Now, as a 55-year-old, he prefers to traverse the city with a slower pace on his quiet bicycle.

To ensure the cycle of art and life continues, Fall wishes to pass on his art to his son, with whom he recently made a fish sculpture out of a bicycle rim.

"You know each rim, during its lifetime, has made thousands of laps, just like fish," he explains.

Fall, who is also a poet, explained that when his transformation of bikes to art is an ode to the millions of revolutions of bike wheels on the dirt roads of his city, a homage to the cycle of life.

Additional sources • Video Editor: Olivier Vigouroux