Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Author: Christabel Johanson

text: email

Creative Coaching


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The Art and History of Kwanzaa


At different times throughout the Black community’s history – from the Black Lives Matter movement, Apartheid or police brutality – art in all its forms becomes the mouthpiece of opposition. Thus it is all the more profound that Kwanzaa was born during the Civil Rights movement when the Black community used its voice and artistic power to protest again discrimination.

Christabel Johanson on the history and art of Kwanzaa
The Forever Stamp, Andrea Pippins, detail

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An Ode to Afrosurrealism


“We use Afrosurrealism as a visual framework, drawing on mythology and symbolism, as well as our personal experiences as artists, to present new ways to imagine spiritual identity.”

Hamed Maiye and Adama Jalloh about their show An Ode to Afrosurrealism

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James Barnor. A Retrospective

James Barnor, Pearly King, Petticoat Lane Market, London, 1960s, Courtesy Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière

James Barnor’s work is remarkable but not just for the lifespan of years recording culture around the world. In Barnor’s work you can feel the richness of life behind the portraits.

Christabel Johanson on British-Ghanaian photographer James Barnor
Pearly King Petticoat Lane Market, London 1960s, Courtesy Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière.

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Benji Reid: Laugh at Gravity


“The starting point of my work is what I refer to as a ‘love-note to my daughter’. I started capturing her everyday life as a child. I evolved my style through play and experimenting.”

Christabel Johanson interviews Benji Reid
Light Bike, 2021, Giclée print, 110 x 165 cm. Edition of 8 plus 2 artist’s proofs

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