Google in partnership with Design Indaba has commissioned the Colours of Africa project to celebrate immense creativity from Africa.
The Colours of Africa project features 60 individual artists from over 50 African countries and involves creatives from almost every discipline including, architecture, illustration, painting and ceramics.
The colors of Africa project showcases 60 specially-curated artworks produced by over 60 unique African creatives who used the ‘color’ that captures the character of their home country.
“Africa is known for its bold, unapologetic use of color, ” said Design Indaba’s founder Ravi Naidoo. “Each country, city and community is identifiable by its unique palette. As Africans, we can tell powerful stories through color. This project tells a story of a continent through the universally accessible lens.”
The first artistic undertaking of this scale, the project will allow viewers to discover stories of Africa as told by the African creative community.
The artworks will be showcased on the Google Arts and Culture page where users are invited to spin the kaleidoscope to explore the works, taking the user on a journey through Africa, and inviting them to view each country through the eyes of a local artist.
“By empowering and amplifying African voices to tell the unique stories of their cultures through their work and creativity, we hope to provide much-needed exposure, cultivate a newfound curiosity, and window into the vast beauty that exists on the continent,” says Nitin Gajria, Managing Director at Google.
“Nothing like this has existed to date, so we’re very excited to break new ground,” says Design Indaba founder Ravi Naidoo “This is an important artistic catalog, the first of its kind to plot the expanse of African artistry on Google Arts and Culture,” added Ravi Naidoo.
Naidoo says, “We salute Google for taking this important step to provide the world with a resource like this – not everyone can afford to travel here, or access physical art fairs and museums to view this kind of work.”
The project involves creatives from almost every discipline imaginable: from architecture, illustration, painting and ceramics to writing, engineering, the performing arts and visual communications. Their creations have been converted into images, videos, texts and illustrations.
The multidisciplinary mix of 60 artists includes Algerian photographer Ramzy Bensaadi, fashion designer Bisrat Negassi from Eritrea, filmmaker Archange Kiyindou “Yamakasi” from the Republic of Congo and visual artist Ngadi Smart from Sierra Leone.
As part of the project launch, Design Indaba commissioned Nigerian multi-talented creative and accomplished professional artist, Chief Nike Okundaye to capture the unique spirit of her country in a color that represents home to her. She created an original painting titled ‘The Female Drummer/Àyánbìnrin’ using royal blue color.
At this stage, the project is intentionally an online-only manifestation that invites eager exploration. It can be accessed via the Google Arts & Culture portal or click here.