I went along with Felicity of http://thisisculture.net/ to the October Gallery to watch a 30min documentary called African Masters made by the Africa Channel about two international acclaimed Ghanaian artists – El Anatsui and Ablade Glover. http://www.octobergallery.co.uk/exhibitions/2014glo/ .
The October Gallery building is in Holborn and houses a small room at the top staircase and on the ground floor there are two rooms surrounded by a garden which was utilised very well with seating areas, greenery plants and textured barking. The documentary presented the career of El Anatsui as a leading intricate sculpture and artist who transforms found materials such as wood, tin, copper wire, aluminium, and ceramics into large shimmering forms by assembling elements into vibrant patterns with unique visual impact. The documentary showed how Ablade Glover creates his works of art by using a palette knife to apply oils in a thick impasto with heavy layers of bright colours to invoke bustling crowds, heat, thriving market stalls and dusty shanty towns thus showcasing and expressing the visual richness of the African continent.
In honour of Ablade Glover 80th birthday the gallery exhibited a selection of paintings of his recent works of art which represent his passion for movement, activity and colour, energy and vibrancy of his native Ghana. On studying the artwork from each angle told a story or showed a scene. My favourite paintings were Flamboyance and Market Corridor as they reminded me of my visit to Kumasi market in Ghana.
After the exhibition we took a short walk to covent gardens to the
AFRICA CENTRE SUMMER FESTIVAL.
Situated over the west and east piazza was a textile exhibition showcasing the origins of different fabrics, African market, food, performing arts, live music and acrobats. Due to the time of arriving I missed the fashion show but managed to catch some energetic acrobats, eat some jollof rice but the plantain had sold out. I said to the lady vendor if this was Ghana you would have sent someone to the market to restock.
I persuaded my friend to get her head wrapped by Kiyana Wraps who I know that have some lovely African printed material.
Along with another friend (my name sake) joining us we decided to look for a café in order to sit, relax and have some herbal tea. Whilst walking we stumbled on The Jamaican Patty Company – http://www.jamaicapatty.co.uk/ which was playing some nice reggae music which I could not resit jamming to.
Felicity had lived in Jamaica for 2yrs and as soon as she saw the Devon ice cream she alerted us that its the best ice cream ever. I tried a sample of the ginger ice cream which was nice. The patties are £3.99 but being curious about the taste we could not resit – they were tasty and filling.
We decided to head back to Covent Gardens and took a detour to Bedford street where we were shown another Caribbean place called ‘Dub Jam’ known as a Rum Shack, this is ain very very small space that I was told used to be a club clock room. But the space was utilised well with colourful decorations, Caribbean scenery, artists portraits and large sound system speaker boxes, there was just enough room for one long table.
Bless – Sister E