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Beauty: Chouette Mama Natural Skincare

Chouette Mama [Senegal] [Image credit: Chouette Mama] The soothing, nourishing, regenerating and healing properties of West Africa’s indigenous plant life forms the basis of a range of 100% natural skincare products formulated by Senegalese based business, Chouette Mama. The business was founded in 2007 by Phil and Geraldine Pernin, a French couple with an interest in botany, that led them to relocate to Popenguine, a small village on the Senegalese coast with the idea of setting up a laboratory creating natural skincare based around plants that have been used locally for generations.  

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Design: Artlantique Gives Discarded Fishing Boats a New Lease of Life

Artlantique [Senegal] [Image credit: Commode Thies – Artlantique] Weathered by the elements, wood salvaged from old or discarded fishing boats is given a new lease of life as contemporary furniture collections, whilst retaining the hallmarks of its former life. Along the coasts of West Africa, fishermen have long been a common sight, making daily trips into the ocean in brightly coloured narrow boats crafted by highly skilled craftsmen; and it is this connection between fishing and carpentry that inspired Artlantique to produce its distinctive and colourful furniture, which design in Spain by Ramón Llonch and handcrafted in Senegal by a team of master craftsmen.

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Interiors: A Holiday Home Interior Inspired by African Print

A Senegalese Holiday Home [Senegal] [Image credits: Senegalese Holiday home – Elle Decoration France/M P Morel] An explosion of clashing colour and pattern characterises an idyllic holiday home in Senegal that I came across on the blog, Africa Moto. Located in the popular resort town of Saly, simple outdoor living is the order of the day conveyed in a mix of local, regional and Parisian influences. A striking feature of the house is how it is decorated with African print Indoors, English sofas and armchairs are covered with vibrant African prints and solid bold colour, set off against a backdrop of […]

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Art: Loman Art Upcycled Creations

Loman Art [Senegal] [Image credits: Loman Art – Sandy Haessner] Creating poetry, songs, and works of art, designer Loman Pawlitschek is the embodiment of the term ‘creative spirit’. Creating mobiles and other decorative art features like mirrors, Loman is committed to upcycling, taking unwanted and discarded scrap metals and materials, turning them into functional objects of value. Originally from Australia, Loman and her family moved to South Africa for a few years where she worked as an interior decorator, before moving to Dakar, Senegal where she has lived for four years; and where her business Loman Art is based. Dakar has been […]

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Textiles: Aissa Dione Luxury Woven Textiles

Aissa Dione Tissus [Senegal] [Image source:  Aissa Dione Tissus Fabrics via Textiel Museum The Netherlands] Businesses, schools, private residences, galleries, shops, hotels, workshops and studios opening up their spaces to hold exhibitions as part of the Dak’art OFF programme, brought the opportunity to meet with the artists and designers behind the works if you got your timing right. Opening the doors of her home was award-winning textile artist Aissa Dione Tissus, who was displaying the works of several artists in her elegant surroundings. Aissa was very welcoming and I was honoured to meet her; it was one of the many occasions […]

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Art: Papa Ibra Tall’s Vibrant Tapestries at Dak’Art 2012

Papa Ibra Tall [Senegal]   Several months ago I coveted a dress made out of gorgeously colourful clashing prints, alas no available size meant it remained on the hanger, but was reminded of the distinctive print when I saw some stunning tapestries by renowned Senegalese artist Papa Ibra Tall, whose exhibition opening was one of the first I stumbled upon during Dak’art 2012. Held at the Place du Souvenir, the event was a retrospective of sorts celebrating the artist’s long career, a lively well-attended occasion that saw guests milling about observing the art and enjoying the warm evening, serenaded by the jazzy sounds of the National Orchestra. Displayed […]

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Travel: Four Weeks Immersed in Creativity

[Image credits: clockwise from top left; Fishing Boats via Senegal.co.uk; Obstacle Serge Alain Nitegeka, Installation at l’Institut Français © Tapiwa; The Millennium Door Statue © Tapiwa, Ocean View © Tapiwa;Sous Verre Paintings via Le Pays De la Teranga; and Baobab Treetop © Tapiwa] Nanga def, (‘hello, how are you’ in Wolof… and, also the name given to a rather yummy cocktail!). Four weeks in Dakar have come and gone leaving in their wake a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and colours. My time Dakar was amazing, surpassing my expectations. There are times when some things are just meant to be when everything just comes together; I felt that during my time in Senegal. I […]

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Messages & Musings: On Holiday

On HolidayGreetings from the vibrant city of Dakar, Senegal; which has been my home for the last two weeks and will be for the next two, as I take time out to indulge in a bit of r&r, whilst soaking up the local culture; and the main reason for my silence! Posts have been few and far between over the last few weeks as I was busy sorting myself out and completing last-minute tasks before my trip; and although I was hoping to create some posts whilst on holiday, unexpected restrictions with accessing my provider services means its unlikely that […]

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Design: Stephen Burks Man Made Contemporary Basketry Exhibition

Stephen Burks [Africa Inspired]   Having grown up surrounded by basketry and woven grass products I do feel a deep connection to the tradition; marveling at the patterns and the way the long grass stalks can be transformed into beautiful functional products. So immediately fell in love with the woven light fittings from New York-based industrial designer Stephen Burks. So stunning, so contemporary; I just love the colours and the ingenious designs that celebrate the basket weaving traditions seen across the continent and show that far from being confined to the past, basketry is continuing to evolve into a contemporary art form. Produced […]

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Accessories: Fulani Handbags Blending Heritage and Style 

Fulani [Senegal]   My journey on this blog has lead me to some wonderful discoveries of talent and traditions I knew nothing about, so when a stylish range of handbags and clutches called Fulani landed in my inbox I was introduced to an exquisitely woven traditional fabric from Senegal called Rabaal, which provided the inspiration for the collection. Mainly used as a commodity, given to honour some of life’s greatest events such as a wedding or birth of a child, Rabaal is a delicate fabric handwoven by skilled artisans using traditional patterns that have been updated with bright pops of colour for […]

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Design: Galerie Arte Award Winning Furniture Designs

Galerie Arte [Senegal] [Image credit: Interior Design – Galerie Arte] Galerie Arte is a veritable treasure trove, home to an eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional furniture, home décor, art, jewellery and handicrafts from highly skilled African artists and artisans. I was introduced to the Senegalese gallery by Ratiba, a current Dakar resident and décor lover who described it as ‘Dakar’s most beautiful place’, and having had a virtual browse, looks like the kind of place I could quite easily get ‘lost’ in for a few hours. The gallery/showroom located in Dakar was established by designer Joëlle le Bussy in 1996, in […]

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Design: Senegalese Prayer Basket Hampers

African Prayer Hamper / The Travelers Collection [Senegal]   Ditch bog-standard plastic laundry baskets in favour of some elegantly coiled hampers hand-woven by the Wolof women of Senegal and available on The Travelers Collection, a US-based offering a diverse collection of globally inspired personal and homeware accessories and gifts. Simply stylish, the hampers are made from recycled prayer mats that have been woven using njodax grass and plastic strips and come in subtle soothing colour palettes that bring a touch of contemporary African chic into the interior. Available in different sizes, the hampers have ample room, not only concealing mountains of […]

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Design: Ousmane M’Baye’s Colour block Furniture Designs

Ousmane M’Baye [Senegal] [Image credits: Armchair 2011 – Ousmane M’Baye] I was recently introduced to the colourful and innovative creations from Senegalese furniture and home accessories designer, Ousmane M’Baye, whose colourful abstract chair instantly reminded me of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian’s famous colour block, linear paintings; paintings that have inspired countless designers throughout the decades. Mondrian was one of the revolutionary founders of the Modern Art movement and as an art student I was captivated by his work; something to do with the minimalist simplicity of it all I guess.

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Travel: The Chic And Stylish Radisson Blu Hotel Dakar

Radisson Blu Hotel – Dakar [Senegal] Lately, it seems everywhere I turn on the net I keep seeing the banner advert for Radisson Blu Hotels; curiosity got the better of me so I clicked in a bid to find out what was on offer and when it came to African properties there are quite a few scattered across the continent. The Radisson Blu in Dakar caught my attention; I admit I was seduced by the opening image of a chic property in a spectacular night setting. 

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Design: Multi Award-Winning Designers Birsel + Seck

Birsel + Seck [Senegal] [image credit: Teneo Storage System – Birsel + Seck] Of Senegalese and Martiniquais descent, product designer Bibi Seck was born in Paris and raised in London, Paris and Dakar. In a career which incorporated twelve years spent at Renault designing cars for the French automobile manufacturer including interiors for the compact SUV Scenic I and II, Twingo II; today the innovative designer is based in New York where he established the product design firm Birsel + Seck with his partner Ayse Birsel, who was raised in Izmir, Turkey. First and foremost Birsel + Seck are problem solvers who […]

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Travel: Lodge des Collines de Niassam

Lodge des Collines de Niassam [Senegal] [Image credit: Lodge des Collines de Niassam, lagoon hut – The Senegal Experience] Sandals got me dreaming of sun, sea and sand and so led me to this stunning image of Lodge des Collines de Niassam in Palmarin, Senegal; four hours from the vibrant capital Dakar. Senegal sits at Africa’s most westerly point on the Atlantic Ocean, and is a beautiful country with a diverse landscape; and although a country marked with a poignant past, it is today a place brimming with optimism. In a tranquil setting, the unique Lodge des Collines de Niassam captures the […]

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Food & Drink: Dorah Sithole Cooking from Cape to Cairo

Dorah Sithole [South Africa] [Image source: Tafelberg] Whether it’s a steaming plate of sadza ne nyama, a beautifully fragranced lamb tagine, spicy jollof rice or a Sunday roast; our favourite foods done just the way we like it provide a source of comfort, reminding us of Mum’s good home cooking and with Mother’s Day in the UK a week away, on Sunday 3rd April what a good day as any to get together, cook up a feast and honour our Mothers as we make them feel extra, extra special. As the flurry of gift buying gets underway if your Mum […]

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Jewellery: Embellished, Avantgarde Creations by Ngone

Ngone [Senegal] [Image credits: Fabio Leone/Ngone]  Born on the Dakar peninsula, self-taught jewellery artist Ngone started her craft by learning beading before exploring other techniques of jewellery making. Moving to Paris in 1990 Ngone became an apprentice studying under Parisian artisans to hone her skills and in a bid to further enhance her gems and jewellery design skills enrolled in the Nicolas Flamel School of Jewellery Design in 2001. A highly experimental designer, Ngone’s embellished creations are about the links that bind people together when one ventures beyond the differences, taking inspiration from the point at which diverse cultures intersect and also […]

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