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The eCommerce platform is dedicated to showcasing brands whose products are rooted in African aesthetics.
Ebony is the name of a precious and dark wood, originating from ancient Egypt. Its luxurious texture made it a favourite material for carving decorative items. Over the centuries, the wood’s deep black features have transformed its name into a shorthand for Black identity. The derivative, Ebonyx, is a fitting name for the new eCommerce platform championing brands whose products, aesthetics, and imageries are rooted in “Black Atlantic” heritage. In a phone conversation, Ashley Ebanks, co-founder of Ebonyx, explained: “We wanted to bring the African culture and the designs of Africa, […] the Caribbean and South America to the world.”
Museums and galleries: shuttered! Art fairs and biennales: postponed indefinitely! Previews, artists’ talks, and performances: cancelled! The extreme measures taken to dampen the swift spread of the coronavirus pandemic have brought the art world in its present form to a screeching halt. Unwittingly, the confinement measures have also exposed the fragile financial health of numerous art and cultural organisations and precipitated the closure of others. Suddenly, a question that would have seemed unfathomable only a few months ago, becomes reasonable: if some of these long-standing institutions cannot outlive this crisis, what would become of the budding contemporary African art scene?
Welcome to the first of #Artinthetimeofcovid19 series.
Let’s face it: things are rather grim in the world right now. The death toll caused by the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge. Meanwhile, businesses and public spaces have had to shut down as part of an extensive set of sanitary measures designed to contain the disease. These measures are saving our lives while sadly endangering our livelihood. And now, ongoing confinement has started taking its toll on people’s mental health.
We can’t change this gloomy climate. However, we can create within it, a virtual space of escapism: one that transports us into studios, exhibition spaces, or into gripping visual tales. #Artinthetimeofcovid19
Before the coronavirus pandemic had ground most activities to a halt, we strolled through London for a pre-spring art crawl, looking at works by African artists, and by and large, Black contemporary artists. We also added other exciting ongoing shows and exhibitions due to open. Here is what was meant to be the March guide to 8 Contemporary African Art exhibitions in London.
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