Exhibition: 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

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‘The Fortress, 2014’ by Kiluanji Kia Henda (Angola) – 1-54 Courtyard Sculpture Commission
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‘The Purple Shall Govern, 2019’ by Mary Sibande (South Africa) as part of her solo exhibition I Came Apart at the Seams
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‘Turn, turn, turn, 2019’ by Mary Sibande (South Africa) as part of her solo exhibition I Came Apart at the Seams
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‘History Papers, 2019’ by Adeunmi Gbadebo (USA)
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Detail of ‘History Papers, 2019’ by Adeunmi Gbadebo (USA) – a mix of cotton, indigo dye and human hair.
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Close-up detail of ‘History Papers, 2019’ by Adeunmi Gbadebo (USA) – a mix of cotton, indigo dye and human hair.
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Quilted portraits of African-Americans by Bisa Butler (USA)
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‘Macho Nne: The Honeycomb, 2019’ by Cyrus Kabiru (Kenya)
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‘It’s My Time & There Has To Be Another Way, 2019’ by Evans Mwangi (Kenya)
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From the series Interwoven by Kyle Meyer (USA)
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Circle Art Gallery from Kenya
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‘Failed Coup, 2019’ by Shabu Mwangi (Kenya)
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Art on the wall ‘Dexu Adüna, 2019’ is by Alexis Peskine (France) and the bike installation ‘MBK100, 2018’ is by Romuald Hazoumè (Benin)
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‘Carriage Clock, 2019’ by Yinka Shonibare, CBE (UK)
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‘The American Library Collections (Philanthropists), 2019’ by Yinka Shonibare, CBE (UK)
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‘Tightrope: Noiseless 14, 2019’ by Elias Sime (Ethiopia)
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Detail of ‘Tightrope: Noiseless 14, 2019’ by Elias Sime (Ethiopia)
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I saw Noma’s bag by Kenyan artist Michael Soi and I just had to take a picture.
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Photographs in lightboxes by Michel Papami Kameni (Cameroon)
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‘Untitled (boxes), 2018’ by Gareth Nyandoro (Zimbabwe)
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Detail of inside ‘Untitled (boxes), 2018’ by Gareth Nyandoro (Zimbabwe)
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Detail of inside ‘Untitled (boxes), 2018’ by Gareth Nyandoro (Zimbabwe)
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‘Speed Demon 1, 2, 3 & 4, 2019’ by Boris Nzebo (Gabon)
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On the wall is ‘Fatherhood’ by Prince Gyasi (Ghana) and the sculptures are by Alimi Adewale (Nigeria)
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This is me checking out Mxolisi Dolla Sapeta (South Africa) artist’s studio in South Africa using Virtual Reality (VR)
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‘Golden Horde 5, 2006’ by Hew Locke (Scotland)
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Close-up detail of ‘Golden Horde 5, 2006’ by Hew Locke (Scotland)
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‘L’écume de la mer, 2019’ by Louisa Marajo
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Detail of ‘L’écume de la mer, 2019’ by Louisa Marajo (Martinique)
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A sculpture by Jake Michael Singer (South Africa)
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Photographs from the exhibition Water Life by Aïda Muluneh (Ethiopia)
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Pop-up exhibition storefront for Jamm Rek: Quotidien Senegal a photography exhibition by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn (USA)
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Signage of the pop-up exhibition for Jamm Rek: Quotidien Senegal a photography exhibition by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn (USA)
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‘Marche HLM, 2013’ as part of Jamm Rek: Quotidien Senegal a photography exhibition by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn (USA)
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Top ‘Les Femme Paying Respect to Mame Diarra Bousso, 2015’ and bottom ‘Baye Fall Alamadies, 2014’ as part of Jamm Rek: Quotidien Senegal a photography exhibition by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn (USA)
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‘Sokhna Khady Ba, 2014’ as part of Jamm Rek: Quotidien Senegal a photography exhibition by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn (USA)
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Curator of Jamm Rek: Quotidien Senegal a photography exhibition by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn (USA), Atim Annette Oton, speaking to my friend Wasi
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Somerset House Seaman’s Hall at dusk
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‘Baga Nimba (Gold), 2019’ by Niyi Olagunju (Nigeria)
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‘Green button Qarboush, 2019’ by Qarm Qart (Egypt)
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Triptych of ‘The Urban Mask, 2019’ by Kagiso Patrick Mautloa (South Africa)
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Guests mingling
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With Aude Konan a writer and filmmaker from Ivory Coast
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With legendary photographers Joy Gregory (UK) and Sunil Gupta (India)
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With Arlene Wandera a sculptor from Kenya.
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With artists Celine_A (France) and Evans Mbugua (Kenya)
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Somerset House courtyard at night

It was an early start for me as I RSVP’d to be at the Press Preview breakfast and launch of the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair. The previous day it was raining heavily on and off and I was hoping that the weather would stay nice and calm. Luckily the sun came out to play and the morning air was crisp, but it was cold. And it is Black History Month!

This is the seventh edition of the fair which is held at Somerset House with 45 galleries from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America showcasing contemporary African art from all over the world with 15 of those galleries showcasing for the first time.

This year, the 1-54 Courtyard Sculpture Commission is The Fortress by Angolan artist Kiluanji Kia Henda and for South African Mary Sibande, a first major solo UK exhibition of her photographic and sculptural works I Came Apart at the Seams which will continue on after the fair has ended until 5th January 2020. Another solo exhibition that will continue on after the fair until 20th October is an Afrofuturist tableaux Water Life by Ethiopian photographer and artist, Aïda Muluneh with a further nine solo exhibitions by various artists being displayed during the fair.

For me, this year 1-54 was an amazing experience as it was a long day of looking at artwork, networking and taking pictures. I even managed to squeeze in a visit to a pop-up hosted by Mak Gallery of a photography exhibition Jamm Rek: Quotidien Senegal by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn which ends on the same day on Sunday 6th October as 1-54. So, if you are in the area, please go and check it out. The address is 62 Church Street, London, NW8 8ET – nearest station is Edgware Road.

I went back to Somerset House for the evening event of drinks and more networking then I decided to call it a night.

Please give yourself plenty of time to walk through the fair’s space if you do decide to go, as there is so much to see judging from the ‘few’ photographs I have shared. And there are also screenings and talks happening as well, which are free to ticket holders, but you will need to book as spaces can be limited.

If you are reading this before the 06th of October and are in London, please go and see it. I highly recommend it.
Tickets are £25.00 for Day Ticket/ £10.00 concessions. Children under 12 go free.  Friday is FREE for students with student ID.

The exhibition has ended.

#ContemporaryAfricanArt

 

 

 

Exhibition: Get Up, Stand Up Now

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Multigraph 023 (Larry Achiampong) by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard
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Exhibition Entrance via West Wing of Somerset House
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Colourful corridor
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Floor detail of corridor
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‘Whenever I Hang’ – Poem by Grace Nichols
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Exhibition visitor looking at a glass cabinet display of artefacts collected over the years by Zak Ové’s father, Horace Ové
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‘Icepick, 2002’ by Satch Hoyt with audio of hair being combed by wooden, plastic and metal Afro picks
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Listen boxes were dotted around the space with various music spanning 50 years. This one was playing ‘Empire Road (1978)’ by Matumbi
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‘James Baldwin, 1983’ by Horace Ové
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‘Warm Broad Glow, 2005’ by Glenn Ligon
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‘Hair Relaxer, 2007-2008’ by David Hammons
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Warning sign at the entrance to one of the rooms.
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‘The Enigma of Arrival in 4 Sections. Section 1: Guess Who is Coming to Dinner, 2017’ by Cosmo Whyte
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Detail of ‘The Enigma of Arrival in 4 Sections. Section 1: Guess Who is Coming to Dinner, 2017’ by Cosmo Whyte
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‘Shrine to Wisdom, 2019’ by Victor Ekpuk
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Detail of ‘Shrine to Wisdom, 2019’ by Victor Ekpuk
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Metal sculpture in the space – ‘Shrine to Wisdom, 2019’ by Victor Ekpuk
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Detail of ‘Shrine to Wisdom, 2019’ by Victor Ekpuk
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Detail of ‘Shrine to Wisdom, 2019’ by Victor Ekpuk
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Grace Wales Bonner’s friends Dennis Okwera and Wilson Oryema photographed by Lord Snowdon in her second collection Malik
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‘Woke, 2016’ by Sanford Biggers
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‘Michelle Barnase – Soul II Soul Jacket, 1989 and Jazzie’s Groove Cane, 1990’ by Jazzie B
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‘A Great Day in Hip-Hop, Harlem, New York, 1998’ by Gordon Parks
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‘The Barber’s Chair and Clippers, 2017’ by Faisal Abdu’allah
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‘Umbilical Progenitor, 2018’ by Zak Ové
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Detail of ‘Umbilical Progenitor, 2018’ by Zak Ové
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Do not touch the artwork – detail of ‘Umbilical Progenitor, 2018’ by Zak Ové
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T-shirt on sale at the exhibition store – this one made me chuckle.

I almost didn’t go to this exhibition. I had a pretty intense migraine for a few days and the last thing I needed was a ton of information being introduced to my already hurting head. If it wasn’t for my friends insisting, I would have easily stayed at home regretting my decision.

So, I gave myself a pep talk that morning and made my way to Somerset House where it was being held. I took a ten-minute stroll from Holborn Station convincing myself that I needed the fresh air and it was worth it. As I approached Somerset House from The Strand, on the facade was Multigraph 023 of artist Larry Achiampong that was shot by fellow artist and filmmakers Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. Seeing this I knew I was in for a treat. Ok, truth be told, I didn’t know what to expect.

Side note: I loved what Larry said when he showed his mum his portrait on the facade of Somerset House.

“Waited a while to show mum this image (shot by @iainandjane 🙏🏿) which is at the front of @somersethouse via Strand.
We cried
We talked about the cleaning jobs we did in the area years ago
We hugged
Mum talked about legacy, about the importance of (the kids and others) seeing black faces in this way….. about coming to this country with nothing, but now feeling like she’d gained something”

The skies were grey and the fountains at the courtyard were on. It was hard not to miss the entrance to the exhibition which was colourful against the grey exterior of the building. As soon as I made my way in, I purchased my ticket and had it scanned. The lady at the entrance handed it back to me and said start from the left side of the space and immediately I was hit by a very colourful corridor that made me stop in my tracks. Very Instagrammable and memorable. I could tell that the exhibition curator Zak Ové wanted the visitors to be left with a lasting impression from the get-go. How could you miss all that colour and pomp?

From poetry, photographs, sculptures, fabrics, music, video, film, etc., anything you can think of that can be exhibited in an art exhibition was there. Zak Ové did an amazing job curating this show. A glimpse on Black creativity spanning over 50 years. I have just a few shared photographs I managed to take whilst in the space and they don’t do the experience justice.

Also, I honestly thought the exhibition would be in the whole of Somerset House, but it was only on the West Wing of the building. I was low-key disappointed, but all that disappointment faded as there was plenty to see. Everywhere you looked you were drawn to what was being displayed. The experience was definitely multi-sensory. From the floors to the windows, even the skirting boards were carefully curated and thought out to bring the colourful nature of black art and creativity. The whole space was just a sculpture on its own. I loved it.

The poem ‘Wherever They Hang’ by Grace Nichols and ‘Before’ by Selena Nwulu are my favourites. This coming from a person who hardly reads poetry. As an immigrant, they just resonated with me.

Despite my migraine, I experienced Get Out, Stand Up Now for hours that I didn’t even notice the time pass by. I am glad that I did see it before it ended and that I bought the catalogue from the show.

If you are reading this before the 15th of September and are in London, please go and see it. I highly recommend it.
Tickets are £12.50 for adults / £9.50 concessions. Children under 12 go free.

The exhibition has ended now!

#GetUpStandUpNow

 

Personal: BA 2119 | Flight of the Future Exhibition

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Disclaimer: This post BA 2119: The Flight of the Future Exhibition first appeared on Bankelele as I was asked to write a guest post in return for visiting the exhibition.

I was fortunate enough to be invited/gifted a ticket to an interactive exhibition by British Airways in collaboration with students from the Royal College of Art (RCA) at the Saatchi Gallery as they showcased the future of flying in the next 100 years.

This year, British Airways is celebrating its 100th Anniversary as being part of a predecessor company AT&T (Air Transport & Travel Ltd) and this exhibition is a celebration of that long history by looking at aviation through history via FLY, an interactive, multisensory, virtual reality experience that turns you into a time traveller from being a bird, into Leonardo Da Vinci’s studio in Florence all the way to 100 years into the future to what aviation might look like with an aircraft that is guided to land by sight as one of the possibilities of air travel.

Together with FLY, eight other concepts were showcased at the exhibition. These included:

  • AVII (AVY), which I particularly liked as a concept to improve the experience of travellers using Artifical Intelligence (AI) in collaboration with cabin crew. The idea is to submit your needs as you book your flight, for example, if you have particular dietary needs and this information is fed back to the cabin crew who in return provide personalised service throughout your flight without even you asking.
  • Another concept, TASTENATION, uses data collected from DNA and body health to 3D print food for a new multi-sensory in-flight dining experience. This idea does away with food waste as meals are prepared from scratch onto edible cutlery and plates. Yet at the same time provide the necessary nutrients whilst on the air as it prepares the body to adjust to the cuisine of the traveller’s destination.
  • In line with reducing waste, THE FUTURE OF LUGGAGE is another concept that can also be realised. The vision where travellers would travel without any luggage as they will have to upload their clothes onto a digital wardrobe together with their measurements and depending on the weather, duration of their stay, etc. and the idea that you would arrive at your destination and find a set of clothes waiting for you at the airport lounge at your destination is pretty awesome. Clothes will be made from recycled materials that at the end of your trip, you drop them off at the airport where they are recycled.

There was so much to detailing to see at this exhibition from personalised wearable seats called AIRWEAR, to flying green with AERIUM, where the air we breathe and the water that we drink whilst flying is generated through bioavionics systems integrated as part of the plane. CURIO, a hypersonic modular aircraft with zero emissions and weird seating is one I did not get. And so did AER, a shape-changing smart luggage transportation concept.

Of the concepts, I saw at the exhibition, AVII(AVY), AERIUM, TASTENATION and THE FUTURE OF LUGGAGE looked like the ones that are likely to happen in the near future leading up to 2119 with the other concepts looking very unlikely, but I could be wrong and years beyond 2119, these other concepts could be a reality for many.

All in all, it was amazing to see how history and the advancement of technology inform us of the ideas and innovations of what is yet to come.

#FlightoftheFuture

 

Personal: Family First

That moment you take a minute to reflect. Family support is EVERYTHING esp. when they came out to see my FMP Free Range Show back in 2016.

My daily challenges as a mother who is trying to work as a freelance photographer and at the same follow my passion, is that there are not enough hours in a day.

On a serious note, just getting to juggle between being a wife, mother and a photographer is hard enough as your family esp. children come first as the expense of getting childcare when an opportunity to go out on a job or assignment always makes you analyse whether is it worth it. Also, people don’t take creatives seriously and always want to undercut us when it comes to paying for work done.

I am here for #SupportingWorkingMums as the struggle is real.

So, if I quote you for a job, please keep in mind that I have bills just like you. And, when I mention my kids, don’t assume I cannot do the job. It is not that complicated. They are the very reason I am putting myself forward for the job.

Thank you and stay blessed, always!

Side note: This article by photographer Sophie Ebrard puts this struggle into a much better perspective of how as women we struggle to get the job, keep the job and still strive to raise our children in healthy environments.

#SupportingWorkingMums

Asking for Help…

…is not an easy thing to do, especially when it involves money.

 

My decision to start a GoFundMe campaign was not an easy one, but I knew it had to be done. I really want to exhibit my work with my peers and a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do…or so I think the saying goes.

I created the campaign page a while back, but decided not to act on it until earlier this month, when I realised that I just won’t have enough money to produce my work to be exhibited in June. I really want taking part in the exhibition to be the pinnacle of my four years in University and I want it to be special. I also know, by exhibiting, I will get to network with a lot of people during the private view of our Degree Show and to me that would be a great opportunity to potentially get ‘seen’ with my work in full view of the public 😬.

So, this is just a quick blog post to ask for your help. Click on the GoFundMe button on the right hand side of my blog for more details – DONATE & SHARE. Your support will be highly appreciated. 🙏🏾  👍🏾

In the meantime, please check our Instagram feed to see previews of work by other students taking part in the University of Westminster Degree Show at Free Range this year.

Thank you for time and God bless you!