African artist

The Gallery of African Art Presents: Mimi Shodeinde & Imanni Da Silva

“A real artist combines her good character and her beauty. It’s a package.” Mimi Shodeinde

Last week on Thursday 8th Dec, The Gallery of African Art (GAFRA) showcased their last exhibition of the year showing the works of Nigerian artist-designer, Mimi Shodeinde, and Angolan artist Imanni Da Silva.

This exhibition was particularly close to my heart as Mimi is a friend of mine as well as an artist and designer that I throughly respect. I had been a spectator and supporter throughout her process in prep for this show so I was looking forward to seeing her first ever exhibition and in particular her furniture instillation works.  I was not disappointed.

The artworks presented in the exhibition are from Mimi’s Iwa series - which means “character” in Yoruba. The featured works explore the relationship between the psyche and power of the African woman through mixed–media portraiture and furniture. Using a combination of a somber colour palette and dark symbolism, Mimi creates harmony between the physiology and psychology of the female form. Her pieces are adorned with streaks of gold to signify light and strength, against a backdrop of a seemingly solemn silhouette.

The curves of the female body in each painting are mirrored perfectly in the furniture on display: two variations of Mimi’s Iman Lounger - one in a champagne stingray leather (obviously my favourite, so luxurious!) and one in plexi-glass. The materials employed in the furniture speak directly to a woman’s strength (leather) and vulnerability (plexi-glass).

 The works of Mimi Shodeinde

The works of Mimi Shodeinde

The works of Mimi Shodeinde

“My job is to make people dream while they’re awake, and that is art’s main purpose.” - Imanni Da Silva

Immani is an artist I am unfamiliar with however I did like her piece 'The Party is Over'.  Marked by touches of pop art, surrealism, Illustration and the abstract, Imanni’s works emphasise femininity's rich beauty and embrace glamour, luxury and sophistication. A perfect synergy of colour and opulence, she is strongly influenced by bold, bright and luxuriously rich colours, and she holds a great love for fashion and textiles. These influences are visible in her artworks.

 "The Party is Over" Imanni Da Silva

"The Party is Over" Imanni Da Silva

Both artists will be displaying their works at GAFRA from 8th December 2016 – 21st January 2017

Gallery of African Art (GAFRA) 
45 Albemarle Street
Tel: 0207 287 7400

20 African photographers you have probably never heard of (and you really should!)

Lagos Photo Festival 2016 officially kicks off and will be running for a month from Saturday 21 October till 21st November 2016.

Launched in 2010, it is currently the first and only international arts festival of photography in Nigeria and prides itself on showcasing the best photography talent the continent and diaspora have to offer. The festival includes exhibitions, events, workshops, artist presentations, discussions and large-scale outdoor installations all in the name of uniting international and local contemporary photography. Find out more here.

So in honour of the snap happy festival, here are 20 of the most talented contemporary African photographers that you've probably never heard of (and really should have!):

1. Mário Macilau 

2.Lakin Ogunbanwo

3. Mohau Modisakeng

4. TY Bello

5. Omar Victor Diop

6. Dawit L. Petros

7. Fabrice Monteiro

8. Namsa Leuba

9. Hassan Hajjaj

10. Ima Mfon

11. asiko

12. Aida Muluneh

13. Zina Saro-Wiwa

14. Zohra Opoku

15. Em'kal Eyongakpa

16. Kadara Enyeasi

17. Emmanuel O Achusim

18. Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou

19. Mauro Pinto

20. Logor

**This article was published on TRUE Africa

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair pre-event cocktail evening X Mohau Modisakeng | Bophirima exhibition

Art month is almost here and us art lovers and appreciators are getting rather excited! To kick it all of, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair hosted a lovely cocktails evening at Tyburn Gallery in order to celebrate their fourth edition of the biannual art fair. 

Yours truly attended and got to speak with the Founding Director of 1:54, the wonderful Touria El Glaoui, about her hopes and thoughts for this upcoming fair.

40 galleries from 18 countries will be exhibiting at 1:54 and this coming edition will spotlight works from over 130 African and African diasporan artists working in a variety of mediums.  

The fair, as always, will have an extensive programme of conversations, workshops and panel discussions all of which shall be curated by Koyo Kouoh  of RAW Material Company, Dakar

Can't wait!

Being at the Tyburn Gallery, I also got to see the amazing images of Mohau Modisakeng first hand and he is just super talented! Most certainly one to watch as is a firm favourite of mine as well as many. 

"The real work for me is in relating the visual signs and symbols of teh abstract - be it music or in my dreams - into a narrative that resonates with the collective social experience."

Originally from Soweto, Johannesburg, Bophirima means 'West' or 'the direction where the sun sets' in Mohau's mother tongue of Setswana. He is always the subject of his own work which some may see as egotistic... but I view it as very personal. This is because Mohau's art touches heavily on the subject of apartheid and its prevalent effects on social, political and economic systems in South Africa. Mohau uses his body to explore the influence of South Africa's violent history, creating these powerful and poetic black and white images.




'I use textiles in the same way other artists use paint, steel or marble - it is my colour palette and medium for artistic expression.’  

Abdoulaye Konaté, Composition vert émeraude et rouge, 2016, Courtesy  the artist and BlainSouthern, Photo Todd White.jpg

Known for his large-scale textile installations, Abdoulaye Konaté’s first exhibition at the Blain Southern London gallery featured all his new works, which continue his exploration of formal colour composition. It was a rather colourful affair, and I do so enjoy Konaté's large scale instillations. His works are inspired by the hues found in rocks and minerals, abstract works with subtle gradations of colour and embroidered accents predominate.

Konaté’s vivid, thought-provoking installations have their roots in his Malian homeland. The materials he uses, woven and dyed cotton, are integral to the country’s culture and by extension, to his practice.  Inspired by geology, 

The countless strips of cotton that make up each work are hand-embroidered and stitched together so that each artwork is deeply layered and laden with texture.

I got to meet the man himself and although my French was rather poor.... it was still such a pleasure to speak with the charismatic and charming man of the hour.


 Abdoulaye Konaté (right)

Abdoulaye Konaté (right)

2 September 2016 – 24 September 2016

Blain|Southern 4 Hanover Square London W1S 1BP

 +44(0) 20 7493 4492 ;