Son of an abstract sculptor, Kayode Olanrewaju was born in 1975 in Ibadan, Nigeria. His passion for drawing dates back from primary school and he diligently took art lessons from secondary school. In 1986, he joined the studio of a renowned painter, Moses Alagbe, where he studied painting with palette knife for four years and developed his own style. In 1992, he had his first public exhibition. The style of Kayode Olanrewaju is characterized by a mastery to depict natural light and a respectful representation of social life in Nigeria. He is inspired by cultural life of his country and the struggle for dignity. Nourishing Earth and subsistence farming are major themes of his work. His paintings have been exposed in renowned locations countrywide, including the Nike art Galleries of Lagos and Abuja, the American and German cultural centers and the headquarters of Shell company in Lagos. Describing his approach to painting in his own words: "My painting relates to African culture but I have no specific topic or figure in mind when I start a new work. As soon as I take my palette knife, inspiration directs me." Kayode Olanrewaju has been teaching art painting since 10 years and he mentors two young artists, Kola Awo Kunle and Soji Adeforijin, whose works are also available on our website.
Discover the paintings of Kayode Olanrewaju
Kola Awo Kunle
A student of Kayode Olanrewaju since 1998, Kola Awo Kunle is a native of Ife, Nigeria. He has developed his skills in several styles and techniques but most of his works are fine batiks and ink on rice paper. Influenced by his professor Kola Awo Kunle also likes to represent African culture and rural life and is a master in representing the beauty of African women and the elegance of African cloths.
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Soji Adeforijin was born in 1975 in Ife, Nigeria. He loved drawing since childhood but started to paint original works in 1996. He became a student of Kayode Olanrewaju the following year. The influence of his professor strikes through his work. He has the same passion for painting with palette knife to represent African culture and precarious livelihoods.
Discover the paintings of Soji Adeforijin
African Glass Beads
Mary Addoty is a young woman of 31 years old, born in Agogo Eastern Region of Ghana. It is love that took her to designing glass beads, as she learnt this technique from her boyfriend 12 years ago. She now creates her own beads that she sells on the market of Koforidua, which is the trade center for beads. In Ghana beads are not considered simple accessories of adornment. The various designs and colors carry specific meanings. Some are worn on special occasions, others every day. They can transmit messages, indicate status, or symbolize important stages in life.
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Ewe & Ashanti Kente Cloth
Jimmy Christian Amegayie and Ahiagble Bob Dennis
Native from Volta region, the birthplace of Ewe kente, these two brothers belong to a lineage of master weavers since 6 generations. They started their apprenticeship of the art of kente weaving at the age of 8. They now co-manage two workshops with 20 master weavers. Recognized by the UNESCO amongst the major representatives of the art of kente, Bob Dennis is the author of a reference book entitled "The Pride of Ewe Kente". While kente cloths are normally worn for special occasions, their cloths also exist in sizes for decorative usage (placemats, table runners, tablecloths and bedspreads). These two enthusiasts aim at keeping the tradition of kente weaving alive by bringing the cloth to a wider public. It is their plan to open a new location with the intention of hosting visitors wishing to be introduced to the art of kente weaving.
Discover the art of kente weaving
Discover our kente cloths
John Kwesi Mensah
John Kwesi Mensah was born in 1958 in Ajumako Assasan in Central Region of Ghana. He is the son of a renowned carver who created the State Stool for Kwame Nkrumah, the father of independence of Ghana. After his primary education, he underwent an eight year apprenticeship under the direction of his father. In 1975, he decided to self-develop professionally as a master carver of traditional Ashanti (Akan) stools. His work is one of great quality and he never accepted to produce for a flourishing market supplying low quality carved stools for export and tourists. Unable to make ends meet, he thought of giving up but persisted thanks to a vital need to carve. He requires a minimum of 15 days full time work to carve an Ashanti stool. He uses only sese and mahogany woods. He never stains his stools but just applies a simple coat of neutral polish for protection. His favorite wood is sese: “I love carving sese because it is the wood used in our tradition and it takes force and an exceptional patina over the years”.
Discover the art of Akan stool carving
Discover our wood carvings
Brass Handicrafts and Beads
Ernest Akwasi Bonsu
Ernest Akwasi Bonsu was born in 1984 at Kumasi in Ghana, in a family renowned for brass crafting. His grandfather used to make brass adornments and beads for the Ashanti King, Otumfour. Ernest started his apprenticeship at the age of 12 and became master apprentice six years later. He now manages a workshop with his elder brother at Krofofrom, a Ghanaian village reputed for metal arts. Wishing to make his creations known out of Ghana, he regularly exhibits his work at the International Craft Exhibition of Ouagadougou (SIAO) and in Nigeria. His pride is that beads of his creation have been used to adorn traditional costumes in several Ghanaian movies. He hopes, one day, to exhibit his work in a craft trade show in Europe. Ernest intends to perpetuate the family know-how by teaching the art of brass casting to a junior brother and two nephews who nevertheless pursue schooling.
Discover the method of brass casting with lost wax
Discover our brass handicrafts and beads
Hand Painted Barber Signs
Zakaria was born in 1979 in Accra. His passion for drawing dates back from childhood. He remembers how he loved painting on the walls of his grandmother's house when he was a kid. He left school at 14 without any precise idea about his professional future. Owing to his passion for visual arts his father took him to learn sign painting from a professional painter called Peter. He thus started his apprenticeship in 1996. After several years as an employee in various painting studios, he eventually set up his own workshop in Accra, in 2006. Zakaria is renowned for the high quality and meticulousness of his work. The demand is high, as any small business in Ghana bears a painted sign to draw attention. The most original signs are generally those of barbers. As many are itinerant, it is by carrying a colored sign under arms that they are noticed by customers. They can stop anywhere to do a haircut or shaving. It only necessitates a shadowy spot and the saloon is operational by the street in a flash.
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