In doing some research online, I discovered that on the 4th Saturday of every month, a section of Old Spitalfields market in London is home to an African market, so I deicied to vist to see what was on offer. Check out my other post on the other stalls and activities taking place at Old Spitalfields market.
The African Market is organised by Openthegate. An organisation whose aim is to promote a positive and contemporary image of African & Diaspora arts, crafts, music, design and culture. Openthegate has been in operation since 2009 and has brought to the forefront unique African designers and artists via its events and African markets.
On my visit to the African market, I was greeted by vibrant colours and creative arts and crafts works. As I walked around digesting the aesthetics on display, I came across the store of Anjelica Moore, with these lovely decorative and functional art pieces. The tissue holders and plates are infused with African textile design and inspired by African print, which is the rave right now in mainstream fashion. It used to be limited to Africans only and mainly in clothes, but this has now been extended to shoes, bags, cushions, furniture and other functional and decorative art pieces.
Anjelica Moore is originally from Chicago and is currently doing a Masters in food policy. She is inspired by the great continent Africa and is looking to reconnect back to the richness of the motherland.
Next, I was drawn to the stall of Cristina Morales. A self-taught artist and designer, licensed in Sociocultural Anthropology with a Master’s Degree in Cultural Management. She is the creator and designer of these gorgeous Kufi hats made from African wax print, which is a popular fabric used in creating traditional and contemporary clothes in different African countries like Ghana and Nigeria.
Cristina is from Spain and we talked about how she loves London. She is grateful for the opportunity to showcase her unique hats, as an African forum like the African market does not exist in Spain.
Christina’s Kufi hats are inspired by by Funkadelic.
Just a few steps away, I arrived at the stall of SIDE. A self taught artist from Tanzania. His artistic journey started with sculptures and the last fifteen years Side has focused on paintings. At his stall, he showcased abstract works infused with Tanzanian life and the works of other Artisans from Tanzanian. The artworks are full of vibrant colours and some depicts safari and the village life in Tanzania. These were shown in paintings on canvas, greeting cards, T-shirts and textile prints.
It was great to see the artwork from East Africa in London, which reminded me of Tingatinga paintings widely found in Tanzanian. I hope to visit Tanzania for its safari and to climb Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa one day.
That’s it for now, a nice little taster from the great continent. I would have love for some African food to be available as well though.
Look out for my next post or better still subscribe to jonaquestart art and travel blog to get interesting posts on my series on the great continent of Africa delivered straight to your mailbox.
Stop by our new gallery shop for Contemporary African Art and other paintings. Thank you.