Press Enter / Return to begin your search.

Sotheby’s Auction of Modern and Contemporary African Art

  London is gearing up for the 2nd dedicated auction of Modern & Contemporary African Art at Sotheby’s. This year’s auction sees artworks by 62 artists representing 16 countries: Algeria, Morocco, Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. The selection of art on offer includes paintings, photographs, drawings and sculpture from the 20th and 21st centuries.  

Read More

Beazley Designs Of The Year 2017

  Sir David Adjaye has been announced as the overall winner of Beazley Design of the Year 2017, for the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington designed in collaboration with The Freelon Group, Davis Brody Bond, and SmithGroupJJR. Now in its tenth year Beazley Designs of the Year is an annual award and exhibition of the very best in international design held by The Design Museum, the world’s leading museum devoted to contemporary design and architecture; and sponsored by specialty insurers Beazley. 

Read More

Ayok’a A Curated Platform For Stylish, Fun And Original Black Art

Our choice of art says a lot about who we are, reflecting our tastes and experiences amongst other indicators.  And despite digital platforms enabling us to discover original talent the sheer amount of information being put out can sometimes have the opposite effect of making it difficult to find, purchase or remember where we saw artwork that represents who we are in one place. Enter Ayok’a, a curated platform that brings together the work of talented black artists making it easy for you to find stylish, original and representative artwork to adorn your walls or carry about your person in the form […]

Read More

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art Is Open

  The 22nd September 2017 saw the opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Zeitz MOCAA), in Cape Town, South Africa, heralded as being the first major institution on the African continent dedicated to collecting, researching and preserving the art of contemporary Africa and its diaspora.

Read More

Le BHV Marais Paris Celebrates South African Art and Design

  Paris is having a love affair with all things contemporary Africa design, fashion, culture, and lifestyle. First is was Africa as the guest of honour at the Paris Art Fair held in March/April, then Africa Now at the Galeries Lafayette shopping destination, and now the iconic department store Le BHV Marais in the heart of the historic and trendy Marais district, which dedicates almost two months to celebrating contemporary South African art and design and culture.  

Read More

Kheyameya Textile Project Celebrates The Ancient Art Of Egyptian Appliqué

  The ancient art Of Egyptian appliqué has inspired a textile project called Kheyameya. Kheyameya refers to the intricately stitched textiles made by the legendary Tentmakers of Cairo, highly skilled artists who for centuries have created appliqué textiles that were traditionally used to line the interior of tents. As time has passed the number of artists has dwindled and the Khayameya produced today are mainly for home furnishings or wall hangings for the tourist market.

Read More

Fashion Illustration Africa Art Book Introducing A New Generation

  Fashion Illustration is a creative discipline that in recent years has captured the imagination of fashion lovers everywhere, and is by no means a recent phenomenon. The discipline has a rich history of documenting fashion, style and cultural trends long before the advent of cameras and photography led to its decline. Rising and falling in popularity over the decades but never quite reaching the dizzy heights of the past, in recent years Fashion Illustration has witnessed a renaissance on the back of the growing share culture that has been fostered by social media. This has allowed for an abundance […]

Read More

Fashion Illustration And Art By Nigerian Artist Ibe Ananaba

A rising name in contemporary African art and fashion illustration, Nigerian artist Ibe Ananaba opened his solo exhibition a few days ago at the Rele Gallery in Lagos, Nigeria. Entitled Sélénsé the exhibition is a body of contemporary works that tell the story of people’s way of expression through fashion. Ananaba took inspiration from the streets, taking the viewer on a visual exploration of everyday fashion. Looking at how fashion is worn, interpreted and flaunted. Fitting given that  the term Sélénsé is a local slang term meaning to ‘flaunt’ or to ‘show off’. Sélénsé captures the growing interest in African fashion. [Main image credit: ‘I […]

Read More

Creative Africa Art And Design Comes To Philadelphia

Africa’s creativity is certainly capturing global attention, with seemingly every major city around the world holding or is planning to hold an exhibition dedicated to exploring and showcasing African creativity. In May, Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, saw the opening of  Creative Africa, a new major exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art that celebrates African art and design, and runs from May 14, 2016 – September 25, 2016. Creative Africa presents the work of visionary artists throughout Africa and is made up of a series of five individual exhibitions each exploring a distinct theme ranging from contemporary photography, fashion, and […]

Read More

South African Ceramicist Andile Dyalvane Celebrates First New York Exhibition

Andile Dyalvane sees the unveiling of his first solo exhibition at Friedman Benda Gallery in New York this week. Opening on Thursday, 23rd June, the exhibition runs for two months and will showcase over 20 unique pieces by the South African ceramicist. Andile is a leading figure whose work is helping to shape contemporary South African design. [Main image credit: Bird Vessel, 2015; Andile Dyalvane – Friedman Benda]

Read More

African Art: Malian Artist Abdoulaye Konate’s Textile Installations

Abdoulaye Konaté is an award winning Malian artist who produces evocative textile installations that have captivated African art collectors. Inspired by colour, which he sees as a potent conveyor of meaning, Abdoulaye’s vividly hued textiles are created using sewing and appliqué techniques to create pieces that range from strips of fabric in graduating shades through to thought-provoking imagery.  [Main image credit: Abdoulaye Konaté – Detail Couple H, 2014. Mixed media – wood, metal, fabric. 250 x 170 cm (98⅜ x 66⅞ in) Courtesy of the Artist and Blain|Southern Photographer: Christian Gläser, 2015 via widewalls]

Read More

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair Frieze Week New York

The 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair makes its debut in Brooklyn, New York tomorrow as part of Frieze Week. The Fair which first launched in London two years ago will feature 60 artists represented by 16 galleries. [Main image credit: Paul Sika, Dandelia #1, 2012. Photographic Print mounted on light box.  Courtesy of Galerie Cecile Fakhoury via Christies]  

Read More

Imaginarium Awards Nurturing South Africa’s Emerging Creative Talent

The Imaginarium Awards, an ambitious modern art and design awards was launched by PPC Ltd with the aim of promoting and supporting South Africa’s emerging creative talent. The competition invited entries across six categories: film, industrial design, fashion, jewellery, architecture and sculpture. Winners of the inaugural event were announced in January 2015. [Main image credit: PPC Imaginarium Awards]

Read More

Africa Utopia Festival 2014 Celebrating African Creative Culture

Africa Utopia, the festival celebrating the diversity in African creative culture returns to London’s Southbank Centre this week. Taking place over four days from Thursday 11 September 2014 – Sunday 14 September 2014, the festival is a celebration of arts and culture from Africa and the African Diaspora. From concerts to art installations the festival looks at how African art and ideas changing the world for the better, enabling visitors to explore areas including culture, community, technology, fashion, sustainability and ethical wealth creation. There will also be the Africa Utopia Food Market, and Market Place offering art, homeware, fashion and accessories […]

Read More

British / Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare Fine Dining Collection For Tate

[Image credit: Yinka Shonibare for Tate, Small Plate – Tate] British/Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE has designed an exclusive range of highly collectable fine bone china dinnerware for Tate, one the UK’s premier art institutions. The limited edition collection sees a distinctively patterned tea set and dinner plates inspired by, the Tate’s archives, research Yinka carries out at the institution, as well influences from his own work. The illustrations combine historical text and imagery, which is incorporated into several different collage patterns, based on the Yinka’s intricate collage drawings. The patterns are created using an array of media, including the Dutch Wax fabrics the British/Nigerian artist often incorporates into […]

Read More

Ocean Sole Recycled Animal Sculptures From Flipflops

A summer staple rubber flip flops are more often than not cheap, cheerful and therefore readily disposable. In East Africa thousands of discarded flip flops are washed up onto the beaches, littering the beautiful coastline, and as a result have a detrimental effect on the local wildlife, eco systems and eventually people, as toxins from the harmful plastics make their way into water systems, and bits of plastic get eaten by sea creatures such as turtles. This promoted Ocean Sole to do something about it. [Main image Credit: Ocean Sole Giraffe Sculptures – Danny Seo/Lonny]

Read More

Inaugural 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair In London

One of the largest art fairs in the world, Frieze, officially starts to tomorrow bringing to London a host of prominent global collectors. Alongside the fair, which is held at Regent’s Park, a selection of the world’s leading galleries set up shop in the city, holding special shows in a bid to capture some of the Collectors’ attention. Making its debut at Frieze week, today sees the start of 1:54, the inaugural Contemporary African Art Fair, which is being held in the West Wing of the prestigious cultural institution, Somerset House. Visitors can view, and purchase contemporary African art from […]

Read More

Hand Decorated Cabinets Inspired By African Design Elements

I stumbled upon these amazingly decorated, hand-painted cabinets by Argentinean artist, Lucas Risé. Visually stimulating, the cabinets are a riot of colour, pattern and texture, with several of the designs drawing inspiration from elements of African design and culture; from basketry to motifs. ‘Somewhere in Africa’, brings together elements of the different countries and regions visited during Lucas’ travels across Africa; whilst ‘African Whimsical’ pays homage to the traditional neck ornaments worn by women in the Continent’s mid-western regions. The ‘Carrousel’ cabinet, in particular reminds me of the Yoruba beaded chairs I have featured previously. The design sees the application of 21,000 metal studs […]

Read More

Contemporary African Art Fred Mutebi Master Woodcutter And Printmaker

Using a flat surface of wood and engraving or cutting out lines, the contemporary African art of Ugandan master woodcutter and printmaker, Fred Mutebi tells stories that document important events in Ugandan life, as well as going out into the community to observe and record day-to-day life. Fred’s colourful, intricate woodcarvings are laden with parables and metaphors and subject matter also extends to wider social issues having an effect across the African continent. [Image credit: Rhythms of Grace – Fred Mutebi]

Read More
  • 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]

Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive