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South Africa: The Art of a Nation, is a landmark exhibition at the British Museum that takes you on a visual journey through 100,000 of the nation’s creativity starting with the earliest examples of creativity from rock art through to modern masters.


Esther Mahlangu BMW Art Car South Africa The Art of A Nation At The British Museum


Highlights include a rock with what looks like a face weathered on its surface and is thought to be an early example of people collecting art; rock cave paintings; ancient gold treasures -among them the golden Rhino- from the legendary Mapungubwe kingdom dating back 800 years. And bringing us to more recent times also on display is the BMW Art Car by artist Esther Mahlangu, which takes centre stage. Handpainted with colourful Ndebele patterns using chicken feathers as per the traditional techniques, the car was painted in 1991 to mark the end of apartheid. And finally the thought-provoking work of Mary Sibande, the Johannesburg artist, whose artwork ‘A Reversed Retrogress: Scene 1 (The Purple Shall Govern)’ is comprised of two figures cast from her body that signify a nation past and present through its people and their roles in society.


The Golden Rhino South Africa The Art of A Nation At The British Museum


South Africa The Art of a Nation opened on the 27 October 2016 and runs until 26 February 2017.


– Tapiwa


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For further information about South Africa Art Of  A Nation at the  British Museum visit:


[Image credits: The images shown are sourced via British Museum. 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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