"Black I am" @ Bargehouse

The 2012 AACDD Bargehouse Festival

Since its debut in September 2010 as partner of the London Design Festival, the three year African & African- Caribbean Design Diaspora programme organised by the London-based British European Design Group has brought together and exhibited more artists and designers of African and African- Caribbean origin from more countries and more creative disciplines than any other previous single initiative of this kind.

The title of this year’s AACDD Bargehouse Festival ‘Untold Gold’ places the outstandingly beautiful and original work of more than 150 artists and designers from the UK, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean within the unique backdrop and raw space of Bargehouse, London.

All five floors of the listed Bargehouse building, opposite the Oxo Tower on the Southbank – the capital’s new hub for exciting multicultural and multinational art and performance activities - will be devoted to showcasing exceptional works from creatives of African and African-Caribbean descent.

Disciplines represented will include fine art, sculpture, design, graphic design, photography, multimedia and music, architecture, furniture, lighting, textiles, home furnishings, ceramics, fashion and fashion accessories, jewellery and beauty, as well as live music and other performances.

In addition, a simultaneous virtual exhibition will showcase the work of artists and designers whose pieces cannot easily be transported from their countries of origin.

The 2012 AACDD Bargehouse Festival ‘Untold Gold’ will also include the special feature exhibition ‘A life apart?‘ showing the similarities of tools and objects of daily use in traditional societies in rural Africa and the Western World in the past. The superbly crafted artefacts of daily use by traditional African artisans pay homage to their magnificent manual skills and indigenous creativity, which have yet to be recognised as important cultural heritage by the Western world. The AACDD project will create its own legacy, by highlighting the talents of new and emerging artists and designers, many of whom have not had the opportunity to showcase their works before.

The exhibition can been seen below:

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Layered Identities @ Dwell on Design, Los Angeles Convention Centre

The BEDG's successful curated exhibition 'Black Symbiosis' of 16 AACDD designers at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, America's leading interior design trade event in New York in May 2012, resulted in a spontaneous invitation to show at Dwell on Design 2012 at the Los Angeles Convention Centre 22 - 24 June 2012. "Layered Identities" - Fusing indigenous cultural heritage and new identities Out in LA to represent AACDD are Gary March and Adjani Okpu-Egbe, who also took part in a talk show with Dwell Magazine Deputy Editor Aaron Britt focusing on ho what extent - if at all - education in different cultural and intellectual environments can actually influence indigenous creativity.

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?Choices! - The AACDD 2011 Festival @ Bargehouse, London

Coinciding with the Mayor’s Thames Festival, the London Design Festival and 100% Design in September, the main focus of the African and African-Caribbean Design Diaspora Festival 2011 ‘?CHOICES!’ will be the series of exhibitions and events at the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf on Southbank.

For nearly three weeks all floors of the listed Bargehouse of the Oxo Tower Wharf complex will be transformed into a ‘Treasure Trove’ of creativity showcasing the amazing artistic talent of more than one hundred British and international artists and designers from the African and African-Caribbean Diaspora communities in the UK and overseas.

The exhibitions include multi-disciplinary mixed media, fine art, sculpture, photography, graphic design, illustrations, book art and publishing, film, videos and music, furniture, lighting, home textiles, ceramics, interior design acessories, architecture, interior design, fashion, fashion accessories, jewellery, performances and workshops.

The BRITISH EUROPEAN DESIGN GROUP takes great pride in supporting emerging artists, designers and artisans of African and African-Caribbean origin and getting their talent visibly represented within the mainstream UK design scene through its three year African and African-Caribbean Design Diaspora Initiative in partnership with the London Design Festival.

Exhibition @ Bargehouse, London

The current paintings from my series The Nightingales are deeply rooted in my childhood growing up in Tanzania, inspired by a return trip I made to East Africa, and influenced by the piano symphonies of the work of Maia Hagg –Wackernagel who created music from recording the sounds of the male birds’ songs at night and her tribal abilities to recreate the feel of the flight of the birds migrating from Africa to Europe in the fall. These rhythms and the Massi tribes are remembered in my paintings — reflections of a wonderful continent. My paintings can be seen in the exhibition at the Barge house, which is much like a New York Warehouse, situated alongside the banks of the River Thames in London; and will be part of a large exhibition including the works of African and African Caribbean Artists.