Short articles on African Art and tips for enthusiasts

Snake oil and popular culture

A captivating facet of popular culture related to the healing industry is the display of posters at gathering points and intersections in Gauteng. Often stuck to the traffic light pole, these A3 and A4 pages, solicit attention. Continue reading “Snake oil and popular culture”

Restitution and Museum culture, South Africa


King Cetswayo Ka Mpande

The return of artifacts to their countries of origin is perceived by many as a milestone to recoup art, lost during times of conflict or by cultural appropriation.  Continue reading “Restitution and Museum culture, South Africa”

The Bodies of Beads – beads and the body

Zulu hats, made in 2010, rugby world cup. Phansi Museum

I cogitate on historical beads, beading, aspects of how change has occurred and roughly what constitutes notions of bead work today, by posing questions with reference to ongoing research in Southern Africa. Continue reading “The Bodies of Beads – beads and the body”

Silver body adornments, Tuareg people, Sahel region, Mali


The Sahara is earth’s largest desert. Its scorching heat, barren gravel plains and endless shifting dunes is also home to the nomadic Tuareg people.

Continue reading “Silver body adornments, Tuareg people, Sahel region, Mali”

Architecture, murals & dress, Lesotho

Vernacular architecture in land-locked, mountainous Lesotho, comprises wattle and daub circular thatched structures or more recently rectangular shaped dwellings spaces, distinguished by murals on the exterior walls. Continue reading “Architecture, murals & dress, Lesotho”

Architecture and contemporary art in Mozambique (part 2)

It is a joy to discover how tribal (or any art form) enriches the lives of those looking, and how the nexus between pre-conceptions and the unpredicted, conjugates new dictionaries of thought and often a passion for the genre.

Continue reading “Architecture and contemporary art in Mozambique (part 2)”

Maconde art of Mozambique (part 1)

Maconde tribal art, adapted, reinvented and traded to tourists in several countries, paved the way as some of the first contemporary art from the African continent. Continue reading “Maconde art of Mozambique (part 1)”




oltmann 2
Drawing by Walter Oltman

Boundaries between costume, fashion and fine art are today indistinguishable. I illustrate various examples across the spectrum, and suggest that perhaps fabric is the next fine art frontier to be crossed.

  Continue reading “COSTUME + FASHION= FINE ART”

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