Black History Month in the UK 2017

Every October the UK celebrates Black History Month.  Although I have always asked  ” what about the other 11 months?”, it is a good opportunity to highlight history and also contemporary artists and events going on in the UK. JON DANIEL AFRO-SUPER HERO: First of all. It was really sad to learn that Graphic Designer/ Artist Jon Daniel, the man behind the Afro-Super Hero concept, lost his battle for life at the beginning of this month. His striking images and use of art in a visually stunning and educative way led to exhibitions at the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood…

London’s Lost Rivers

New Video Clip! London is a City that is never far from a river. There is a lot to explore. Thanks to Elio Peña and Rebecca Radmore, husband and wife film and photography team, I learned about the River Wandle as I made some research for the London Lucumi Choir’s debut Video clip. The track we made the Video for is a cover version of the Ibeyi’s amazing Song “River”.  Whilst I wanted to make an arrangement suitable for the Choir also exploring toques dedicated to Oshun, I wanted a backdrop of a beautiful London based river and I found…

December Artists 2015 Sonia Kounasso

Sonia Kounasso originally from Benin, is now based in London. I met her when she joined the London Lucumi Choir. Here she is singing a beautiful traditional lullaby from Benin Download Sonia’s Track!   She is  also known as Sonia Sonayon and she makes her own Beauty Care products: Candles: and also fashion accessories.   This Christmas she will have her products selling at Sydenham Craft Markets and also Dulwich Northcross market. Or you can also buy her products on line. Buy direct online This is what she says about her products: “We make and sell handcrafted natural toiletries &…

December 2015 Artists: Natalie Cooper

Natalie is an Artist, Graphic designer who has a passion for African Musical Instruments. She has produced several books for all ages including a colouring book based on African Design and she also is a supplier of African Musical Instruments. Here is a video explaining more about her project: Video explaining the ideas behind Natalie’s project   Please have a look at Natalie’s fantastic website which has lots of information and examples  of her books such as this one: Natalie Cooper’s Website If you want to buy in London. She will be at the Open the Gate Christmas Market this…

December 2015 Artists: CÉLINE SIANI DJIAKOUA

There is no forgetting that it is December and that it’s  Christmas and the season of buying presents. It is hard to avoid this especially if you have children.  This year I am trying to either make my own presents or support those I know who make things for a living. This month I would like to concentrate on three amazing UK based artists who have some fabulous gifts for you to buy for friends and family. CÉLINE SIANI DJIAKOUA Céline is a visual artist, jewellery maker, and performer based in Nottingham. The work she does is very varied, but…

Jacob V Joyce, Artist of the Month, November 2015

This weekend, I am in Nottingham launching a new Choir, the Axis Orisha Singers. They will be working with myself and the Axis Percussion Trio. Our debut performance will also feature art by Jacob V Joyce. Jacob is an artist, who uses art within the community. Also an activist, Jacob is not afraid to push boundaries and question many things that people may take for granted. For more information visit Jacob’s Website Jacob’s Tumblr   Here are some of Jacob’s Orisha portraits. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT JACOB’S WORK, PLEASE VISIT THE WEBSITES ABOVE.

Erik Olivera. Featured Artist, Oct/Nov 2014

“Orishas” an exhibition of artwork by visiting Cuba Artist, Erik Olivera, is currently on display in a small gallery in North London off the beat and track, where you would least expect it, where Newington Green meets the beginning of  Green Lane’s long journey. 13The Gallery  is an interesting project; run by extra-ordinary photographer Alejandro Gortazar. it is not only a gallery, it runs classes, makes bespoke picture frames and hosts Cuban Cinema nights.  Here’s hoping that this Blog entry will draw some attention to this small North London Oasis. On Wednesday I caught up with Erik Olivera to ask him a few…

Featured Artist July 2014

I have never met Mercedes Morgan but I really hope to one day. She first got in contact with me through my work with the London Lucumi Choir and we have communicated every since. I really admire her artwork and she was the artist for our first album: “Un Solo Palo Available from CD baby! ( A Single tree does not a forest make, Igi Kan, Ko Si igbo)   Here is a little bit more about her. Mercedes Morgana Reyes was born in 1974 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the granddaughter of Mercedes Cordova (Ala Ofun). She was born into…

ANCESTRAL VOICES, Esoteric African Knowledge

I saw the film “Ancestral Voices”  a couple of years ago at the British Film Institute and thought it was a valuable and educational film highlighting the misconceptions of African traditional Religions and also the important task of dispelling some myths. I am really happy to offer a brief interview Verona Spence-Adofo and Dalian Adofo, the married couple behind the film. They are currently working towards “Ancestral Voices” Part 2 so please have a read and if you feel like you want to support please do by sharing the interview and getting the word out. I was quite interested in…

Making Elekes

When I was young, the idea that I would be able to sit down for long periods of time and create something quite beautiful would have never entered my mind. I lacked focus and concentration and was not very good at sitting still.  When I became an Iyawo (Iyawo signifies “Bride of the Orisha” and it is  the year that follows an Initiation as a Priest in the Lucumi tradition), the strict taboos bestowed on me inspired me to find things to fill my time and I was keen to find things Orisha inspired. Beading and making Elekes and Ides…