The exhibition will be a celebration of fresh, new perspectives on artistic talent coming from the continent and a resistance to the stereotypical characterization of works by artists from the African continent as restricted to telling narratives relating to struggle and hardship.
House of African Art (HAART) will open its inaugural exhibition at Hoxton Arches London on March 21, 2019. Under the title “The Next Wave: The Power of Authenticity and Self-Validation” the inaugural exhibition will showcase works by six African artists from Africa and diaspora. According to HAART, “The exhibition will be a celebration of fresh, new perspectives on artistic talent coming from the continent and resistance to the stereotypical characterization of works by artists from the African continent as restricted to telling narratives relating to struggle and hardship.”
Founded in 2018 by a British-Nigerian lawyer Maryam Lawal, HAART allows collectors to purchase works from early career artists and currently works with artists originating from Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Lawal has had a lifelong passion for African art and this will be a culmination of her dream and desire to provide greater support and wider audience to Africa’s burgeoning art scene especially in Nigeria.
Leading the six artists is London-born Nigerian Artist Àsìkò whose work is constructed in the narrative that straddles fantasy and reality as a response to his experiences of identity, culture and heritage. Another artist Aurélia Durand, an Ivorian French will be showcasing her art which presents “Afro-pop” culture, in which men and women proudly display Afro hair and braids with colorful African prints and edgy fashion accessories. London born Ayesha Feisal will, on the other hand, display an ongoing response to events and situations. Her work is influenced by her interest in consciousness, universal law, balance and truth.
In John Madu, a Lagos based artist, surrealism is brought real as he paints metaphorical subjects drawing on literature, myths, and his own life experiences. While London based Ghanaian artist Kojo Marfo’s vibrant works juxtapose visions from his childhood with a current narrative, as a part of his constant drive to grow and evolve authentically.
Finally, London based Nigerian Multimedia artist Emmanuel Unaji blurs the boundaries between fine art and fashion design as he combines mixed media works with other practices to create wearable art in addition to traditional paintings and portraits.