Travel & Design Blog - BY YASMIN METZ-JOHNSON

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Structure by OUSMANE MBAYE







Earlier this month I went to the opening of the Suba Biennale where I briefly met Ousmane Mbaye. He is a Senegalese product designer, known for his rustic and recycled Graphik creations. During our short encounter he mentioned another show he would be displaying more of his work at in Senegal's capital city, Dakar. A show I am glad I went to as it was worthwhile!

Designers and photographers showcased their work at the ‘structure’ themed exhibition, from what I understand both the work of Ousmane and textile designer Johana Bramble where the physical aesthetics of the exhibition demonstrating structure, alongside captivating portrait photography by Alun Be and Hai Chams who successfully portray different aspect of the theme.  The photography  looked at structure in education, economy, communities and families, the invisible structure or shall I say the non-physical.

The work of Ousmane Mbaye varies from an oversized outlined chair to modern deco coffee tables. A number of his creations floated in the exhibited room as they stand on barely anything, just the metal frame carefully covered in white giving each item a old porcelain effect.  I enjoyed the exhibition and the idea of intertwining art, design and photography through a common ground.  The exhibition was informative as artistic director and creator of the exhibition Nicolas Kerroux talks about his role in assisting and bringing the ideas and vision of Mbaye’s to life. 

At the far end of the exhibition space lined up on a miniature podium were all of the chairs that Mbaye has designed since 2005 to the present day. This was my favorite part of the show as you see the growth and evolution of his designs meanwhile each chair continues to carry individual characteristics. Regardless of the playful structure of his designs they serve a fundamental function and purpose for any interior of exterior setting.

Photos by Yasmin Tells.










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Saturday, 21 May 2016

The Prayer Room by VICTOR EHIKHAMENOR



At this year’s 12th edition of the Dak’art Biennale, I came across the work of Nigerian visual artist Victor Ehikhamenor. He has created an installation piece named ‘The Prayer room”. The Dak'art Biennale showcases African contemporary art with a various selection of artist from all around the globe.  The prayer  room is covered from the ceiling to the floor in a white cryptic style design at a first glance the work resembles the graphics of graffiti, however this is an entire room camouflaged in what could possibly be writing or code giving the space a storytelling essence, the idea of a million of thoughts, praise and questions that occur in prayer. Interior objects hung on each wall, abstract cut motif prayer mats on three of four walls and a circled mirror hung on the fourth.

 Victor explains to Brittle Paper the thought process behind his work as "The Prayer Room is a space where people can come and feel art almost physically, be calm and spend some time to reflect, hence the mirror as part of the installation."

I had never come across Ehikamenor’s work before this, as I look at his other work its evident that he has a continuation style, with intricate detailing in every creation. His work varies from drawings to photography, not to mention also a writer. To find other peoples photos of the experience in The Prayer Room search Victor Ehikhamenor on Instagram.





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Thursday, 12 May 2016

ANCIEN PALAIS DE JUSTICE











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Sunday, 1 May 2016

Hello MAY!



I cannot believe that we are already into the fifth month of the year, however that being said I’m glad we are as May has traditionally been one of my favourite months of the year. The first of May in the UK is the start of the British Spring, good weather, good vibes, bank holidays followed by the most anticipated season of the year… Summer! Not to forget May Day and International Workers Day that coincide also with the beginning of this month.

Fortunately enough I have not needed to wait for the good weather now that I am in Dakar, but I have been waiting for May to arrive as its going to be non stop with activities. The Dak’art Biennale and Suba Biennale take place just in a matter of days now. Exhibitions and performances in abundance will takeover the vibrant streets of Dakar. Not to mention The Saint Louis Jazz Festival that happens from the 11th to the 16th May.


A new month is always a great chance to start a fresh and set goals. I’ve decided that is what I’ll try and do from now on (because weekly ones are just not working out for me).  I liked the idea of The Mayden.com ‘Monthly merits’ as she reflects on different moments of the previous month. I’m not one to reflect I already do that in my diary, however I really liked this idea and thought I would try something similar or the reverse by setting three goals I hope to achieve during the month of May.  I’ve chosen three because I think it’s the most realistic amount when creating any kind of lists. Not mention my favourite number also. Here are my three:

1.To Document the Biennale.

The Suba Biennale known as ‘Salon International d’Art Contemporain’ which takes places at the Centre International de Conférences de Diamniadio this year is a collaboration of emerging artists and talents from across the world showcasing and sharing there gift with many. Both Suba and Dak’art Biennale takes place every two years here in Dakar, Senegal.  I plan you document the events here on Yasmin Tells.

2.To film something of my day everyday.

I got the idea from ­­Being Erin the film concept of ‘one second every day'. To record a matter of seconds of your day and by the end of the month montage all of these seconds together and voila! You have memory sidewheel of your month, moments are most often cherished once they become memories and I think having a two minute clip to look back at what you did in the month of May 2016 will be much more appreciated when you watched it back in two years time. It’s so simple and so quick to do I thought why not try it. Especially with apps like Snapchat highly in use we are all pretty much doing it already.

3.To visit Ngor Island.

Ngor Island is located north of the peninsula, near the airport, in an area away from the capital, Dakar. I’ve heard so much about the art in this place, I think its easy to stay in the city and therefore I will be  making the conscious effort to explore other regions of Senegal. Back in 2014 I visited Koulack and Goree Island.





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