African art originated long before recorded history with rock art in the Sahara in Niger dating back over 6,000 years. Then, pictures and carvings depicted people, animals, and nature but while these themes are important to Africans, it’s the art itself – in its many varying forms – that has remained central to the culture.
Fast forward 6,000 years and we find ourselves in the middle of a thriving contemporary fine art movement on the continent, with artists given a special ‘artistic licence’ and freedom to tackle sometimes raw and complicated issues such as politics, humour, religion, conflict and culture. International collectors are actively seeking out the works of African artists who are now rightly taking their place on a global forum.
This strong artistic culture is reflected in the design of KOFISI’s workspaces and the rich artistic heritage is something our designers have always drawn from when starting to work on our Centres across Africa. Other serviced office providers in Africa have used the east or the west as concepts for their spaces, but KOFISI endeavours to bring in inspiration from African art and crafts because we believe it makes our Centres authentic and honest. By showcasing the work of local artists and artisans in our Centres, it also empowers and inspires the local community.
Over the coming months, we will be launching a campaign which ensures we divest even more energy and commitment to promoting and supporting the work of local artists in East, West and Southern Africa where our Centres are located.
We are beginning our campaign with an artist from each region – and will continue to work our way through a rich list of talent bringing you some well-known, and some not so well-known artists. If you have any you think to deserve our recognition, then let us know.
Sungi Mlengeya is a Tanzanian self-taught artist whose works consist of dark shades of black and browns against pristine white backgrounds. Her topics vary from self-discovery to empowerment, but common themes are mostly centred around women. She sheds some light on their stores, their journeys, their accomplishments, and relationships.
Bright Dankyi Mensah showed signs of artistic talent at an early age and went to the prestigious Ghanatta College of Art and Design in Ghana, where he was awarded a diploma in fine art. His goal is to share his views and opinions with the whole world through his paintings.
The work of Nelson Makamo has a huge celebrity following and some of his works sit in the collections of Georgio Armani and Annie Lennox. Macao works from his ‘sacred’ studio in Johannesburg, and he’s inspired by children from rural South Africa because he believes they embody the peace and harmony we all strive for.
If you’d like more information about our upcoming programme or would like to participate, please contact us – [email protected]