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September 10th, 2012

Untold Gold – 2012 African & African-Caribbean Design Diaspora Bargehouse Festival

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Written by: Jacqueline Shaw
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The 2012 African and African-Caribbean Design Diaspora Festival once again celebrates the amazing breadth, quality and originality of black talent throughout all creative disciplines from the UK and overseas. The three events of the AACDD Festival during the London Design Festival showcase art installations and themed projects spanning architecture, interior design, furniture, lighting, textiles, glass, ceramics, accessories, fashion and jewellery as well as fine art, sculpture, graphic design, photography, film, media and multimedia. The 2012 Bargehouse Festival also features live music performances on selected days.

Since its debut in September 2010 as partner of the London Design Festival, the three year African & African- Caribbean Design Diaspora programme ( organised by the London-based British European Design Group ( has brought together and exhibited more artists and designers of African and African- Caribbean origin from more countries and more creative disciplines than any other previous single initiative of this kind.

The title of this year’s AACDD Bargehouse Festival ‘Untold Gold’ places the outstandingly beautiful and original work of more than 150 artists and designers from the UK, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean within the unique backdrop and raw space of Bargehouse, London.

All five floors of the listed Bargehouse building, opposite the Oxo Tower on the Southbank – the capital’s new hub for exciting multicultural and multinational art and performance activities – will be devoted to showcasing exceptional works from creatives of African and African-Caribbean descent.

Disciplines represented will include fine art, sculpture, design, graphic design, photography, multimedia and music, architecture, furniture, lighting, textiles, home furnishings, ceramics, fashion and fashion accessories, jewellery and beauty, as well as live music and other performances.

In addition, a simultaneous virtual exhibition will showcase the work of artists and designers whose pieces cannot easily be transported from their countries of origin.

The 2012 AACDD Bargehouse Festival ‘Untold Gold’ will also include the special feature exhibition ‘A life apart?‘ showing the similarities of tools and objects of daily use in traditional societies in rural Africa and the Western World in the past.

The superbly crafted artefacts of daily use by traditional African artisans pay homage to their magnificent manual skills and indigenous creativity, which have yet to be recognised as important cultural heritage by the Western world.

The AACDD project will create its own legacy, by highlighting the talents of new and emerging artists and designers, many of whom have not had the opportunity to showcase their works before.

For the first time, individual projects will be curated by participating artists using a specific theme to create special installations or a specific body of work dedicated to the multiple and complex cultural and political issues of Africa, the Caribbean and the black diaspora.

Amongst the projects will be:

‘Black I am’ by fine artist Juliette Goddard

‘TSTM / HFH’ (Transatlantic Slave Trade Memorial / Habitat for Humanity – Trinidad and Tobago) by architects Herman and Fola Morgan

‘Utopia’ a multi-disciplinary project by graphic designer/ artist Abi Wright

‘For Nature I love’ by sculptor/artist Gary March

‘Layered Identities’ by textile designers Juliana Dugbatey, Bezem Kassan, Julie Kouamo and Eva Sonaike

‘Body Adornment’ by artist/jeweller/designer Anita Quansah

‘An Imaginary Return’ a mixed media installation by ceramic artist Basil Olton

‘Dialogues’ work by ceramic artists curated by Munirah and Basil Olton

‘African Inspirations’ two fashion projects working in the interface between African heritage and cutting edge western world couture by Bezem Kassan and Beatrice Newman

‘Camouflage’ an art installation by Jamaican Maroon artist Frank Lumsden

‘Head of the House’ an installation of re-used furniture by Yinka Ilori focussing on the changing attitudes of the younger generations of African and African-Caribbean descent towards their elders.

‘Absent Art’

An interactive installation providing a virtual angle on artwork and designs by artists from the global African and African- Caribbean diaspora who’s artwork can’t be physically exhibited. Visitors are invited to virtually explore each piece and connect with the artist using their smartphones.

Alongside this will be a special exhibition of handwoven and handprinted ‘Fusion Fabrics’ from designers from the African and African-Caribbean Design Diaspora.

african-fantasia AACDD 100% Design exhibtition

From the 19-22 September 2012 some of the African & African-Caribbean Design Diaspora Designers will be collaborating with 100%design London and the British European Design Group to create a stunning showcase of African and African-Caribbean design.

For more details see their website here:



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