PartYcipate Events presents the 2nd Annual ‘A Touch of Art’ an evening celebrating African inspired art in London. This year’s artists include; Lotus Menezes, Shani Osman and Segilola Scott amongst others.
A Touch of Art is an annual art exhibition and cocktail party which features African inspired art from up and coming African and non-African artists all over the world and aims to raise the profile of art from this region. Featured artists are given the chance to showcase their talents and speak to a diverse audience about their work.
Promoting African Artists
In 2013, A Touch of Art will be supporting the Songhai Art Foundation which assists struggling artists in Ghana and Africa to commercialize and promote their work. Last year’s event raised funds to build a library for the children of the Royal Seed Home library project in Ofakour, Ghana. This library will also serve children in the neighboring communities.
Lotus Menezes, who grew up in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania says that “Dar es Salaam is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Yet, it is a world caught between the old and new. As I paint the seascapes and images of Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar that I love so much, I hope that these places will not just one day be memories captured of those who lived there now and experiences the salt on their face, but places that we will preserve amid the change that is inevitable.”
Exhibition Pieces by Lotus
Oil on Canvas, 36 by 36 inches (1 ½ inchdeep edge) this is a scene that I have painted over and over again. For me, it represents the constant that is cocobeach, a place where people come from all over Dar es Salaam, during Sundays, Regilious holidays, to walk dogs, to exercise throwing punches into the salty air. Cocobeach for me is about coming home again and that is why I will continue to paint it.
Oil on Canvas 18 by 14 inches (1 ½ inches deep edge) this German lighthouse, first built in 1894, part of the fabric of Tanzania’s rich history. The lighthouse has been inactive since the 1980s and now sits unused alone on Fanjore island watching the ships go by.
Dar es Salaam Harbour
Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 30 by 15 inches ( ½ inch deep edge) this view has remained constant whether one was looking out from the Kilimanjaro hotel in the 80s and 90s, a hotel that has changed in name over the years, but the view remaining constant. Old and new tug past each other, serene sailing dhows set against the backdrop of cargo ships waiting to overload and load again.
Monsoon in Stone Town
Every year the rainy season hits the archipelago of Zanzibar, the streets in stone town fill up bringing everything up to the surface, but Zanzibaries still have to go about their daily routine and wade through the water to get from place to place. This was a photograph originally captured by a Tanzanian Photographer Javed Jafferji, and since, all the local Zanzibarian artists have reproduced this image in a myriad of ways and this is my interpretation.
Last light of day by the Slipway
Oil on Canvas 30 by 15 inches (1/2 inch deep edge), everyone goes to the slipway, whether you are a tourist in town looking to stock up on stereotypical curio bits, smoking sheesha, licking an icecream cone, a toddler in the playground, a teenager meeting a group of friends and dotting on a crush, having sundowners, taking a day trip to the deserted island that is a marine park, or even, as we witnessed a few weeks ago, having a quiet wedding reception dinner with a group of expatriate friends, you go to the Slipway in Msasani. Originally built, as the name suggests to repair boats, the slipway has been a constant construction site amongst the flurry of activity and still continues to be today. The peer however has remained mostly the same, soaking in the last light of day every evening.
Oil on Canvas 40 by 30 inches ( 1 ½ inches deep edge) is just 40 km across the way from the Dar es Salaam Harbour. The Dar es Salaam Harbour is a bridge between a bustling dusty city and a serene village by the sea. Casa beach is one of the many largely untouched beaches on the South Coast, development is slowly happening, but the infrastructure is still lacking. Often people get away from the chaos for the day or a weekend where there is nothing by miles of sand set against crashing waves.
This is an image of Zanzibar I love, the palm trees and hotel languidly teetering on the brink of the Indian Ocean. It is a scene I have painted before on site, against the backdrop of curious children. It overlooks the Serena Hotel and Amore Mio Italian Pasta and Ice Crop Restaurant.