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Africa Calling LABS

AC Labs presented a special evening at RichMix London with London-based artist Lakwena Maciver and guests. Lakwena’s work spans illustration, graphic design, set design and large-scale paintings and murals and is fast-becoming as well known for her work in outdoor environments as in the gallery. Working largely with bold graphics and adornment as a means to communicate, her style explores how these decorative instincts manifest in popular culture and the urban environment.
In this PechaKucha-style talk, Lakwena presented a dynamic visual introduction to her work and inspiration so far, including the launch of her first solo show and her recent trip to South Africa with Africa Calling as part of the SA-UK Seasons programme.

Following her presentation, Lakwena was joined by a guest panel including Knit designer Laduma Ngxokolo in a discussion about African/British design; Long featuring in the Western consciousness only as a land of unending suffering, Africa is finally becoming a place of rapidly falling poverty, increasing investment, and young, ambitious populations. With the rise of creativity and innovation stemming from the continent, we ask ‘what does it mean to be an African artist or designer creating work in London?’

In this interactive discussion, audience members were invited to join the discussion about what can be done to create more opportunities for exchange and development of the creative industries. How might we start to break down the perception of a monolithic Africa and start engaging with authentic, individual cultures and stories?

This free evening discussion was chaired by Africa Calling Co-director Lola Young and was followed by an informal networking evening.

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