Inspired: Children’s Entertainment – Tinga Tinga Tales

Tinga-Tinga-Tales-Group-Image-Tiger Aspect

Tinga Tinga Tales is inspired by traditional animal stories from Africa. The aesthetic is inspired by the Tingatinga artwork of Tanzania and I really like how they've interpreted it for the animation medium. 

The show is produced by Tiger Aspect Productions in association with Homeboyz Entertainment in Kenya and the first animation studio in Nairobi trained over 50 Kenyans in design, animation, editing and sound engineering. 

Continue reading “Inspired: Children’s Entertainment – Tinga Tinga Tales”

[Inspired] For the Love of Collage

Ellen-Gallagher-DeLuxe-Collage-Plasticine

I managed to check out the Ellen Gallagher AxME exhibition at London's Tate Modern gallery before it ended at the start of this month. I left making plans about how I was going to find some time, somewhere, to indulge in one of my favourite creative pastimes – collage. 

Why do I love collage so? It can be so many things at the same time: ornate and gritty, playful and provocative. For me, the process is quite cathartic – it forces me to relinquish control because, the end result is rarely close to what I expected or planned. Plus, I do like to get my hands dirty!

Here are some pieces from some artists whose work I'm enjoying …

Continue reading “[Inspired] For the Love of Collage”

Inspired: Afro Supa Hero – An Upcoming Exhibition at London’s V&A Museum of Childhood

Afro Supa Hero posters

Award-winning Creative Director, Jon Daniel, has curated what is set to be an exciting adventure – the Afro Supa Hero exhibition, running from 14 September 2013 – 9 February 2014, at the V&A Museum of Childhood in London. The exhibition will give us an insight into Jon's own experience, as a boy of African Caribbean heritage, growing up in 1960s and 1970s Britain. Jon's collection of action figures, games, comics and other paraphernalia, starring pop culture heroes and heroines of the African diaspora, represent some of the positive black role models he (and many of us, around the world) grew up with. 

Continue reading “Inspired: Afro Supa Hero – An Upcoming Exhibition at London’s V&A Museum of Childhood”

African Inspiration on Pinterest: Celebrating Blackness in Fashion Photography

Photography-Black-Beauty-1

I've come across some incredibly beautiful fashion photography where, the model's blackness is emphasised for dramatic effect. Some people feel that the exaggeration is offensive, some people view it as celebratory. If we were to put histories aside for just a few minutes, and purely regard these as pieces of fine aesthetic craftmanship …

Continue reading “African Inspiration on Pinterest: Celebrating Blackness in Fashion Photography”

Inspired: Robert Pruitt’s Women at Studio Museum Harlem

Robert-Pruitt-Art-Free

While in New York earlier this month, I made sure to pay a visit to Studio Museum Harlem, an institution dedicated to showing the work of artists of African descent and work inspired and influenced by black culture. So, if Afri-love were a brick-and-mortar space …

Dreams aside (for now), the feature exhibition was Robert Pruitt: Women – a series of larger-than-life conté drawings of black women. As the official description goes: 

Continue reading “Inspired: Robert Pruitt’s Women at Studio Museum Harlem”

Interview with Animator, Editor and Director, Ng’endo Mukii

Ngendo Mukii Animator Editor Director Filmmaker

I've known animator, editor, director – and ultimately, artist – Ng'endo Mukii since our high school days, over a decade ago. I'm so proud and inspired, witnessing her achievements and the path that she is paving for other young, female, animators, filmmakers and artists, who are finding interesting ways to tell important stories. 

Ng'endo's animation portfolio spans advertising campaigns, music videos, children's animated stories and experimental work. However, it is her short film, Yellow Fever, that has really prompted the world to stand up and take notice of her unique expression. Along with screenings around the world and several nominations, Yellow Fever has won awards at the Kenya International Film Festival, Africa Magic Viewer's Choice Awards and the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival. In the remaining months of 2013 alone, there are screenings lined up in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the US and France.

In this interview Ng'endo talks about how she settled on her current medium of choice; social responsibility as an artist; the importance of having a caring network to provide you with productive critique and; surrendering to (and preparing for) the path that fate has set out for you.

Continue reading “Interview with Animator, Editor and Director, Ng’endo Mukii”

Inspired: Recycled Arms in Goncalo Mabunda’s Art

Goncalo-Mabunda-Chair-Recycled-Arms

Sculptor Gonçalo Mabunda recycles arms recovered from 16 years of civil war in his homeland, Mozambique. Talk about true upcycling – creating works of beauty from arguably the most disgraceful of man's inventions! Gonçalo is exhibiting at London's Jack Bell Gallery until August 10th 2013. 

Continue reading “Inspired: Recycled Arms in Goncalo Mabunda’s Art”

Art Propelled: An Interview with Artist, Robyn Gordon

Robyn-Gordon-Art

Today I'm happy to share this interview with artist, Robyn Gordon, whose work I've been admiring for a while. I first came across Robyn via Pinterest as the contents of her wonderfully curated boards resonated so much with what I like. I then discovered that Robyn was an artist herself, living and working in KwaZulu Natal. Inspired by the touch and feel of nature, Robyn creates wooden totems, panels and even quilts, using wire, beads and found objects. These pieces weave a narrative of her life in South Africa – the land, symbols of Africa and her British ancestry. Robyn shares this quote on her website:

"I have tried to study African Art in order to assimilate it into my being, not to copy, but to seek the essence of it, it's spirit and quality of art."  

— Hale Woodruff

Continue reading “Art Propelled: An Interview with Artist, Robyn Gordon”

Interview with Fine Art Photographer Paul Sika

Paul-Sika-Fine-Art-Photography-Adala

Paul Sika is a fine art photographer based in Côte d'Ivoire, whose psychedelic creations have gained attention from around the world. Paul's work has received glowing press from the BBC, CNN, The New York Times, Forbes Afrique, ARISE Magazine and many more. Furthermore, his self-published book, At the Heart of Me, is an Amazon Bestseller.

Today, Paul shares his journey and inspiration and discusses the "visual linguistics" of our continent.Paul. His story proves again what several other Afri-love interviews have: following a traditional training path (e.g. pursuing a particular course of study in an educational institution) is not always necessary in order to successfully follow your dream. It may be more powerful to interrogate your excuses and perceived barriers and, destroy the illusions you hold.

Continue reading “Interview with Fine Art Photographer Paul Sika”

Inspired: A Visit with Artists at Nairobi’s GoDown Arts Centre

Dickens Otieno Kenya Artist GoDown Arts Centre

The GoDown Arts Centre in Nairobi houses a performance space, several creative businesses and artist studios. It's a multidisciplinary arts incubator of sorts, with a mission

"to develop independent artists across multiple art forms and to participate in the advancement of the cultural sector, thereby contributing to the establishment of a robust arts and culture sector with expanding receptive audiences" (emphasis mine and an intention after my own heart!)

While reintroducing Lus to Nairobi a few months ago, we decided to nose around the artist studios and we were so pleased to be so warmly welcomed by Dickens, Mary, Caroline and Michael.

Continue reading “Inspired: A Visit with Artists at Nairobi’s GoDown Arts Centre”