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“Picture Africa” is an exciting new exhibition that celebrates African creativity, the relationship between photography, textiles, and fashion as seen through a pan-African lens. The exhibition will feature a host of leading African design and creative talent, as well as contributors from bloggers, image-makers, artisans and fashion leaders. Curated by Cathy O’Clery “Picture Africa” is a feature of two 100% Design South Africa events, first taking place at Decorex Cape Town, which runs from 29 April – 2 May 2016, before travelling to Gauteng, where it will be on show at 100% Design South Africa from 5 – 10 August 2016.
Representing the joyous, clashing and colourful textiles of a colourful continent and the vibrant street and studio photography that encapsulates the spirit and energy of contemporary African creativity and life, “Picture Africa” will be situated in the 100% Textiles Pavilion, making textiles a main feature shining the spotlight on the work of innovative textile designers from all over Africa such as Aissata Namoko, Skinny laMinx, Design Team, Bead Design Studio and Boubacar Doumbia of Le Ndomo textile workshop. In addition to textiles the work of leading African photographers such as Phyllis Galembo, Thandiwe Muriu, and Ed Suter, will also be displayed alongside the designs of top South African fashionistas including Trevor Stuurman, Laduma Nxgoloko and Marianne Fassler, and Ghana’s Yevu.
Salim photograph by Ed Suter Picture Africa
Salim photograph by Ed Suter Picture Africa
[Image credits: Main, Picture Africa – Marianne Fassler Resort 16 Collection, Photography by Paul Samuels Picture Africa
top and bottom; Salim, photograph by Ed Suter


” “Picture Africa” is intended to offer a point of stimulus and fresh inspiration. It is meant to spark conversations and creative thought – all of which helps set the pace for our industry and this then leads to the birth of new products.” – Cathy O’Clery, “Picture Africa” curator


[Image credits: Indigo Fabrics by Djiguiyaso, Photography by Adriaan Louw for DNA]
A pioneering exhibition of African creativity to stimulate the senses and help move Africa’s design industries forward.
Additional Details:
“Picture Africa” dates: 29 April – 2 May 2016, Decorex Cape Town
5 – 10 August 201, 100% Design South Africa Gauteng
For further information about Picture Africa at Decorex Cape Town, visit: 
[Image credits: All images provided courtesy 100% Design South Africa, and the individually listed photographers in the image credits under each image. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.

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  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
  • Instagram Image
  • Colourful basketry, soulful sculpture and an elegant candle make a nice placeholder we think, as we prepare to usher in a new chapter of the Atelier Fifty Five journey. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Gifted hands. A glimpse behind the scenes of Kaross a South African based embroidery initiative, whose artisans transform furnishings into works of art. [📷 credit: Kaross]
  • Tools of the trade, a hand carved printing block stamp by textile designer @juliekouamo whose evocative designs tell the stories of cultures past and present. Julie's textiles feature richly layered patterns, textures and printed pictures that come together to create vibrant collages. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]
  • Fishermen's boats, a familiar sight along the Senegalese coast line. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]

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