This site is about art from Africa, or by or about Africa or Africans, in London. The aim is to share information, listings and ideas.
The main focus is on contemporary visual art, but other things may pop up from time to time.
That’s it, really, but a word or two about the thinking behind the site might be helpful…
The problem with “contemporary African art” is that in some ways, there’s no such thing; however, the reasons why people think there may be no such thing seem to fall into two distinct and quite different categories:
1. art from the continent of Africa is so diverse that it cannot be lumped together in one category
2. there is not much art being produced in Africa, and certainly not the ‘contemporary’ kind
Unfortunately, while the first argument is by far the most sensible one, in my experience, many people in the UK who don’t have special interests or experience in this area lean towards the second view, perhaps mostly due to lack of information. And even for those who do take an active interest in contemporary art, African or otherwise, working out what’s going on in London can be a challenge. That being the case, I think that a website about the many and varied forms of art currently being produced in and about Africa or by Africans, on view in London right now, in a way which acknowledges African connections without being limited by them, is surely no bad thing. This site is not primarily intended to be a place to discuss these issues, as there are many other better forums for doing so; however, any comments on this and related matters will be appreciated, and responded to.
Please feel free to contact me if there’s anything you’d like to see featured here. (You can also contact me if there’s anything I’ve posted that you’d prefer NOT to see featured here, although of course I’d rather you didn’t…)
March 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm
I was recently browsing through the internet in an attempt at finding out more about some African artist I saw on TV last week when I stumbled upon your website, perfect!
I am African myself and at the moment I work for a charity that supports the socially marginalised through arts and creativity. We are in the process of re-launching our arts magazine and it is my intention to get some African artist on board both for exposure and possibly to contribute towards articles on African arts.
I don’t know if you are in the direct position to help but I am certain you will be able to provide me with some advice on how to move forward with this idea.
This is just a summary, I am more than happy to explain in greater detail anything you want to know should you be interested. It will be very much appreciated if you could get back to me at your earliest convenience.
For now though, thank you very much for having a read through and for your anticipated cooperation. I hope to hear from you soon.
March 5, 2011 at 2:53 pm
Thanks for your message, Aisha – I’ll get back to you in more detail via email.
April 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm
Great blog. Thanks for mentioning Chagan Contemporary’s current show. Can you let me know how came about hearing about the show? and do you do reviews of shows?
April 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm
Hi Geeta, glad you like it! I’ll email you…
May 13, 2011 at 9:31 am
What a great site! I live in London, am professionally involved in art and interested in African art, particularly, but was unaware many of these shows were taking place, so it’s a great resource. Incidentally, if anyone noted the death of Ulli Beier, the German-born proponent and catalyst of modern aftrican art, and couldn’t understand why there were no obituaries in the British press – when there were dozens in the Nigerian – there are now obituaries at the Daily Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/8508079/Ulli-Beier.html – and the Times. The Guardian, I understand, is coming.
May 13, 2011 at 12:22 pm
Thanks! Glad you’re finding it useful. On Ulli Beier, perhaps you’ve seen this already, but I think it’s a beautiful tribute and worth re-posting: http://chikaokeke-agulu.blogspot.com/2011/04/ulli-beier-in-memorian.html
May 13, 2011 at 1:26 pm
Beautiful, indeed. I had seen that, but good to see it again. I can’t see an ‘about me’ slot on your blog. Er, who are you, if I may be so nosey? Totally understand if you’d rather not say.
May 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm
Not at all. I thought that in this instance an ‘about it’ might be more appropriate than an ‘about me’. But for them that’s interested, this is my current (slightly out of date) page: http://www.geog.qmul.ac.uk/staff/owene.html
June 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm
I wanted to contact you for a project we are developing about African art which I think it could be of your interest. Could you contact me?
August 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm
Hello, I am curating an exhibition by Nigerian artists Ugochukwu-Smooth Nzewi and Emeka Ogboh (their work is brilliant!) at Watermans in London in 2012 as part of a year-long International Festival of Digital Arts. The Festival will include solo shows by other international artists, but I am looking for funding opportunities for the artists from Nigeria, so I would be grateful if you could give me any suggestions. It would be great to discuss the project with you – if you are interested obviously – in case you would like to get involved in talks etc.
September 2, 2011 at 2:42 pm
My name is Emamoke Ukeleghe and i am the Project Co-ordinator for the The African and African-Caribbean Design Diaspora (AACDD) Is the three-year Programme of Exhibitions and Events of the British European Design Group (BEDG), which aims to promote a greater awareness and better understanding amongst British and international audiences of the outstanding creative talent of African and African-Caribbean Diaspora artists and designers in the UK, Africa, the Caribbean, USA and other parts of the world. AACDD believes that the mainstream creative industries in the UK should be truly representative of all talent.
From September 9th – 25th we have a Festival, showcasing the works of Artists, Artisans and Designers of African & African Caribbean descent, I would like to send you an email with the invite please email me at email@example.com.
September 16, 2011 at 9:13 am
Hi! I’ve long admired your blog, and I would like to get in touch about a research fellowship I’m working on, on contemporary African art on the continent and in the Diaspora. Could you send me your email?
September 20, 2011 at 7:01 pm
Hi Robin, sorry for the slight delay – I was on holiday. I can’t find contact info on your blog and the facebook link doesn’t seem to work, but feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help!
October 5, 2011 at 7:24 pm
I HAVE AN EXHIBITION OF AFRICAN CERAMICS IN ELTHAM
October 6, 2011 at 11:51 am
Hi there, if you send me some info about your exhibition I’ll see what I can do about spreading the word…
December 19, 2011 at 11:10 pm
Hello, i am organising an african festival at the university of bradford, west yorkshire. The festival aims to promote african cultures, launch debates around issues affecting africa through african art. I am looking for african photographers as i would like to organise an picture exibition about child soldiers, globalisation and africa, african woman, and conflict and ressources in africa. I would be gratefull if you could give me some contacts. Thanks. Salimatou
December 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm
Hi Salimatou, thanks for your message – I’ll email you.
March 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm
Hi African Art in London admins! I’m Eve-Yasmine, a presenter at Live Magazine, and am North African myself – I love your website! I came across a post on your website that included author Hannah Pool, Live Magazine recently interviewed her, would love for you to check out the video: http://youtu.be/9fw2y2z-5Lc
January 11, 2012 at 12:55 pm
Check out the work of George Osodi..he’s on facebook and an interesting photographer from Nigeria. He deals mainly with the Delta region but has other images too…
Pingback: Banquet @ Bracknell Gallery | African Art in London
July 19, 2012 at 11:43 am
Hi African Arts in London, I’m Jummie, founder of African Weddings and Bridal Fayre.I am having an fayre come October 6th 2012, this fayre aims to promote African businesses and promote African cultural heritage as well as bridging the gap between African event services and Africans celebrating in diaspora. I am wondering if you can give supports as in spreading the news as well as participating.You can find us on www,africanweddingandbridalfayre.vpweb.co.uk
August 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm
Hi African Art in London,
My name is Richard BB. I am a South African artist currently resident in Melbourne Australia with a long history of contact with Sudan/South Sudan – I am having a one night only exhibition : AUSTRALAFRIC #1 at MereCoincidence ? Project space P1 Studios Paynes Rd. Bow London E3 on Thurs. Aug. 30 from 6-9 pm. The exhibition will feature oil portraits. collage sculpture and video examining my interaction with Africa. Can I please post an invite with image ?
August 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm
Hi Richard, no problem – email me the info at email@example.com and I’ll see what I can do!
August 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm
love your blog, below is an invitation to a visual art exhibition by Richard Butler Bowdon, his practice is an ongoing investigation into cultural hybridization and he is represented by First Floor Gallery, Harare, Zimbabwe
Would appreciate it if you could list the show on your blog – Kind Regards, F.Friel
ATAVISTAFRIC : 1# : The Albion Reduction
an Installation by Richard Butler Bowden at Mere Coincidence?
P1 Studios, Payne Rd. Bow London E3 UK.
6-10pm Thurs. Aug.30th 2012
The exhibition combines artifacts from three current projects;
Painting : portrait studies of individuals of the African Diaspora now resident in Melbourne.
Collage : inspired by the Ere-Ibeji dead twin cult of Nigeria and investigating/expressing the proposition :
‘Can art still maintain its original magical ritual purpose in a contemporary secular and digitized world ?’
Sculpture : ‘ Self-Portrait of the Artist as a Black Man – The Adoration.’
The individual components in this exhibition express the key Altermodernist principals of cultural hybridization and traveling as new way of producing forms. It is hoped that assembled together these works attempt to preserve for our disenchanted and rationalist world ‘the solemn’ quality that Nietzsche discerned in African art, its magic and incantatory power.
Like a looped beat in a hip-hop track Africa is a refrain that continues to exit and re-enter my life serving to inform and expand my practice. To this I see Africa as not being a mere physical location but rather a splendid metaphor for everything that is atavistic, original and essential in the creative human condition.
HOW TO FIND US * Nearest tube is Bow Rd. Rail – Bow Church
P1 STUDIOS, PAYNE RD. LONDON E3
FOR GOOGLE MAP ENTER: Payne Rd. London E3
1. As you exit tube/train, immediately cross over Bow Road and turn right
2. Walk east down to the end of Bow Road, past Bow Arts Trust on left and old church on right
3. Turn left into Payne Road when you see McDonalds
4. Entrance gate is on left, please phone/text 077 661 65958 for entry
5. Studios are at back of yard
August 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm
Hi there, yes, I received the info from Richard a few days ago, and have prepared a post. Good luck with the show!
August 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm
Hiya! I’d just like to point out our exhibition (by University of the arts london students’ union) for black artists taking place at the new Central St Martins building soon, very exciting stuff! http://suarts.tumblr.com/post/29963137810/already-here
October 18, 2012 at 12:02 am
Some cool stuff here. Do you know about the African Book Festival in London on the 26th & 27th October? Send me an e-mail and I’ll provide you with more details, I’m involved in organising it and I’m currently trying to publicise the festival.
November 20, 2012 at 10:27 am
I would like to send you the press release of my next exhibition
November 20, 2012 at 10:37 am
I’m not Aicha! My name’s Evelyn. But sure, feel free to send me the press release – my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 10, 2013 at 9:49 am
I am an Education Officer here at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.
I work with groups teaching them about art and about the collections and am trying to build a database of African artists living in the Uk who might wish to come and work with students and the collection.
I am particularly interested at the moment in finding an African artist who works with the human body as we are thinking of running a day workshop in early August on body image or ways of seeing and I would like to try and counteract the usual Western art representational/life drawing mode and try to find an artist who works more in the vein of some of the artist/craftspeople who made the objects in the museum or even just a different way of interpreting or drawing the body – with imagination, stylisation etc rather than just literal drawing of life models.
I am not sure if this would be of any interest to any of the artists who are part of African Artists In London ? Also we are continually on the look out for artists to work with the collections and with groups and run workshops.
Please drop me a line if any of this sounds of interest.
May 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm
Not entirely sure I can help, other than suggesting places that might put you in contact with available African artists. If you’re still interested please e-mail: email@example.com