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Arts  |  Visual Arts  

A taste of African Art

By Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo   |   08 October 2016   |   3:00 am

Sokari Douglas Camp
Born in 1958 in Buguma, Nigeria, internationally renowned sculptor, Sokari Douglas Camp is one of the winners of the memorial for Ken Saro-Wiwa in London, and was also one of the shortlisted artists for the Fourth Plinth in 2003. Her often large-scale sculptures which make frequent reference to her Nigerian roots, at the same time encompassing contemporary international issues. From her most recent exhibition Primavera at October Gallery, inspired by Botticelli’s most recognisable painting La Primavera (1482) comes this piece reimagining a classic European figure in an African culture African, creating new meanings through new contexts.

Zohra Opoku
Born in 1976 in Altdöbern, Germany, Opoku lives and works in Accra. Deploying a variety media such as installation, photography and video, Opoku explores the cultural and psychological functions of fashion, and its influence on society. In her latest exhibition entitled ‘Sassa’ the artist explored the use of clothing for its psychological role and individualistic and societal value, while acknowledging her African history.

Serge Attukwei Clottey
Another Ghanaian artist, Clottey, born in Accra in 1985, works across installation, performance, photography and sculpture, mining the agency of everyday objects in order to explore narratives of personal, family, and collective histories often relating to trade and migration. This vision finds perfect form in Afrogallonism, an artistic concept that comments on consumption within modern African through the use of yellow gallon containers.

Victor Ehikhamenor
A true Benin native, Nigerian visual artist, photographer and writer Ehikhamenor produces abstract, symbolic, and politically motivated works that reveal his ties to the historical Benin Kingdom. His works are influenced by the duality of African traditional religion and the interception of Western beliefs, memories and nostalgia. His symbols and motifs are reminiscent of his childhood village shrines art drawn by women.

Dennis Muraguri
Born in 1980 in Naivasha, Kenya, Muraguri, a multimedia artist working in painting, printmaking installations and sculpturing, is mostly recognised for his body of work inspired by matatu (Kenyan minibuses and vans that are the main mode of public transport) which explore urban culture of contemporary Nairobi and Kenyan industrialization through his use of wood and metal.

Babajide Olatunji
Born in 1989 in Okitipupa, Nigeria, Olatunji initially trained as a botanist before turning his focus on art. Tribal Marks Series are a collection of hyperrealist portraits informed by his extensive research into the age-old practice of facial scarification, and discussions with carriers of these marks.

Nontsikelelo Veleko
Nontsikelelo ‘Lolo’ Veleko is a South African photographer most notably recognised for her depictions of black identity, urbanisation, and fashion in post-apartheid South Africa. Veleko’s subjects are unique in the sartorial statements they make to express their identities and the artist aims to challenge assumptions of identity based on appearances and historical background.

Mohau Modisakeng
Johannesburg native Modisakeng explores the trauma of Apartheid era and evokes the scars of persisting violence through his intense meditative self-portraiture uses the language of dreams and visions. While the 2016 winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for visual arts is A sculptor by training, he uses performance, video and photography to create his haunting narratives.

Modupeola Fadugba
Lomé-born, Abuja-based artist works with painting, drawing and installations, aims to create an active dialogue about issues of social justice, identity, education and the use of art as a vehicle for activism. Modupeola’s work generally emerges as series, an organic and intellectual process through which her ideas continually transform, yet they retain a vibrancy of color and a graphic quality.

Billie Zangewa
Born to a South African mother and Malawian father, Zongewa was raised in Gaborone, Botswana and educated in Malawi before she relocated to South Africa to complete her fine arts degree. She works with rich surfaces and textiles, with a particular love for silk. Her rich silk tapestries offer a coherent narrative and a luminous aura.

Aida Muluneh
Raised in Canada, now living and working in Addis, Aida Muluneh is a contemporary artist and photographer drawn to a sense of place and timelessness, known and familiar, self and other. Her first solo first solo exhibition with David Kruts Projects entitled ‘The World is 9’ consists of a selection of images from a brand new series of photographic works in which Muluneh questions life, love, history, and whether we can live in this world with full contentment. The title is inspired by an expression that Muluneh’s grandmother had repeated: “the world is 9, it is never complete and never perfect.”

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