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'Interwoven Histories' In London: An Exhibition Of Handcrafted Work By 4 Artists From Benin, Kenya & Nigeria

The October Gallery in London presents 'Interwoven Histories,' an exhibition of handcrafted mixed-media works by 4 African artists.

Throughout the month of November London's October Gallery is presenting Interwoven Histories, an exhibition centered around contemporary African artists who eschew popular artistic processes and technology in favor of more personal handwrought narratives. The monthlong exhibit brings together four award-winning artists from Benin, Nigeria and Kenya, who specialize in creating intricate handcrafted works using a variety of re-purposed materials. The most readily recognizable pieces in the show are those of Beninois mixed-media artist Romuald Hazoumé, whose masks and large-scale installations made from discarded petrol containers question modern iterations of economic slavery, oppression and exploitation in Africa. Other featured artists include Nigerian-American sculptor and video artist Adejoke Tugbiyele, who uses wire, natural fibers, fabric and wood to create sculptures that explore issues of queer sexuality, politics, and social justice while retaining elements of traditional Yoruba spiritualism; Kenyan metalwork artisan Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga, whose one-of-a-kind wall-mounted metal sheets pay homage to the grassroots community housing projects created in the 60's by the Mabati Women's Group; and Nigerian found object sculptor Nnenna Okore, who creates highly tactile sculptures with basic materials such as clay, newspaper, wax and rope in order to bring attention to the need for sustainable and environmentally friendly Nigerian communities. Click through our gallery above for a preview of recent and older works by the four selected artists.


Interwoven Histories is now on display at London's October Gallery and continues through November 29.

 

Interview

Malian Rapper Ami Yerewolo Rises Against All Odds

Ami Yerewolo reflects on her hard-won rap career, new album AY and why she insists on creating support spaces for young female rappers in Mali and beyond.

"No one is a prophet in his or her own land!" This is an accurate way to describe Ami Yerewolo's career to a tee. The Malian rapper's music has not always been popular in her home country, where female rappers are generally frowned upon. Instead, it has taken off abroad. Yerewolo's upbeat sound mixes traditional Malian elements with fast drums, contemporary beats and significant lyrics that compel listeners to reflect on life — all of which makes her songs carry a universal appeal. Her new album, AY (titled after the rapper's initials) has just been released by the label Othentiq.

Yerewolo shares her frank thoughts below...

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