Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Author: Christabel Johanson

text: email

International Week of Black Women in the Arts


The lack of representation is something that is returned to time and time again. Without representation we cannot accurately credit black women’s contribution to the art world. Whilst this barrier is in place, it will always be difficult to fully celebrate and praise their work. It will be a challenge to correctly document and archive their submissions into the artistic sphere.

Christabel Johanson on Black Women in the Arts
Simone Leigh, Facade, 2022, courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, New York

Read more »

Africa Fashion, V & A, London


We aim to give our audiences a glimpse of the glamour and the politics of the African fashion scene. We hope that people come away with the view that African fashions are undefinable, always changing, always refusing to be pigeon-holed. We want audiences to come away inspired by the magnificence of African creativity and to want to find out more.

Christabel Johanson interviews the curator of Africa Fashion, till April 16 at V & A, London
Aso Lànkí, Kí Ató Ki Ènìyàn (‘We greet dress before we greet its wearer’) collection, 2021, Lagos, Nigeria. Lagos Space Programme. Photo: © Kadara Enyeasi

Read more »

Simone Leigh


By working with the energy of this truth in her work rather than historical fact, Leigh reclaims the narrative and space independent from the timeline of colonialisation. In this way she achieves the eponymous state of “sovereignty”.

Christabel Johanson on Simone Leigh
Last Garment, 2022.

Read more »

Romuald Hazoumè


Hazoumè states he isn’t just satirising African politicians. His discourse is focused on international figures who embody global corruption. These masks are a nod at the scandal surrounding the Panama and Pandora Papers, wherein offshore wealth was also “masked” by the elites.

Romuald Hazoumè in conversation with Christabel Johanson
Kind of Blue, 2021. Found Objects, 38 x 55 x 18 cm, Copyright R. Hazoumè,Courtesy the Artist and October Gallery, London

Read more »

In the black fantastic, Hayward Gallery London


In the Black Fantastic will be the first exhibition to highlight this very significant and still under-acknowledged artistic territory that extends across the field of visual art to recent trends in literature, film, television, and music”.

Christabel Johanson quotes Ralph Rugoff, Director at the Hayward Gallery
Installation view Hayward Gallery (work of Rashaad Newsome)

Read more »