Under pressure to find markets the last two years, African artists have been championed by Roberta Coci and Lucy MacGarry, who runs the largest online destination for art from Africa, Latitude Online.

Together, they have curated a thriving new and exciting collection.

“So working with visual artists across the African continent, we then work with designers to create either luxury silk scarf collections or wearable collections, such as silk kimonos as well as all kinds of wearable garments,” explains Lucy.

The all-female team bringing these scarves to the world market have seen them transform the prospects of their artists.

“The collection has been incredibly well received,” explains Roberta, “it was almost a year in the making and the beautiful thing was that there was so many creative minds involved in this project and I think the joy and enthusiasm everyone put into the project is really evident in the final product.”

The mission of the collection was to promote art and design from the African continent. Roberta and Lucy worked together to find artists that produced work that could be translated into another medium, such as silk.

One of the artists involved in the collection is Cinthia Sifa Mulanga.

A refugee from Congo, through her art, Cinthia has given herself financial independence and freedom of expression.

“My passion for art mainly comes from my mother,” explains Cinthia, “I was very interested in the representation of black women.”

Cinthia’s images, rich with relatable characters and moments in their lives, is now selling for sixteen times what it first did and the beauty of collections like these are that they’re bringing the work of eight hundred artists from across Africa to an international art market. 

Another success story is the vivid cultural portraits of Puleng Mongale.

“Clothing is very important to us in our family,” explains Puleng, “we look at it as preservation.”

Inserting herself into the images is Puleng’s way to reinvent herself.

Having to move online to find buyers during lockdowns has broken down unhelpful barriers to selling or buying art.

Trends in both of those fields come and go but it can only be a good thing if the one endures and thrives.





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