I have been researching African street style, particularly in Lagos, Akkra and Benin City. I absolutely love the style of the people in these photo’s, it’s so bold and confident. There are clearly modern, western influences, but in each you can still see a connection to tradition, whether that be a print or some jewellery.
Whilst researching all things African in the UK I came across this little place in Dulwich. The museum is full of curiosities collected in the Victorian age. There were some interesting pieces on display in the Africa collection. I was particularly inspired by the amazing textures and by how strange and quite scary most of the objects were.
I went to the British Museum for a bit of inspiration. They have a pretty comprehensive collection of African artefacts, most of which are quite dark and a bit creepy. I really love the rust and texture of a lot of the objects they have. There is also some contemporary art there like the huge textile made from recycled bottle tops by the artist El Anatsui from Ghana. Upcycling is something I have done throughout most of my work so far and I am really interested to push that further in this project, as it is so evocative of African culture. So much tribal jewellery is made from what people find around them, I think this will be the starting point of my material play.