Taschen has published yet another fabulous decor book. I was lucky enough to receive African Interiors by Deidi Von Schaewen for Christmas and have been reading it at every opportunity. Almost every page is radiant with colour and pattern. Deidi spent 4 years travelling across Africa taking these magnificent photographs for the book. Ohhhhh wouldn't you love to do that? Granted, Africa is hot and there are many areas where water is as scarce as the amenities but what an amazing adventure!
The cover of the book features the brightly patterned walls inside a house in Selibadi. Just one room in each house is painted this way and this is usually the woman's domain where the focus is on daily life, cooking and daily tasks. (See the photograph at the top of the post as well).
This photograph was taken in the Bamako studio of photographer Malick Sidibe. He records the affluent side of life in Mali as well as the ritual ceremonies of hunters in the bush. His studio is filled with photographic paraphernalia, much of which is very old.
Next we have a peek into the home of Alan Donovan, an exporter of African craftwork who is stationed in Nairobi. There were many photos I wanted to show from this house because each room is filled with the most wonderful artefacts.
The African textiles decorating the house are stunning! I can see Kuba cloth, Bark cloth, Mud cloth and many textiles I don't recognize at all. Just look at the appliqued cloths in the bedroom above. The Kuba cloths originated when holes in the fabric were repaired. Patches were sewn over the holes and these developed into the traditional design motifs that are so typical of these cloths.
The image above shows a wall in the bedroom of Not Vital a Swiss sculptor who has built himself a house in Agadez. The camels, which are Vitals own handywork, fit very well with the Berber look of the house. I love this image and keep returning to it.
Susanne Wenger is an Austrian artist who has lived in Oshogbo for the last 50 years. She founded a creative school called the Mbari Mbayo Club which means "when we see it, we're happy". Her artwork whether it is carved wood or cement sculptures, batiks or paintings seem to grow like "rampant plants". She keeps on extending and enveloping her surroundings with these mythical artworks.
This image was taken in the house of Murad Grace, on the edge of Cairo. He and his wife have decorated their home with ancestral objects such as the pieces of Nile pottery you see above.
I have a penchant for weathered wooden doors like this one in a Berber house in Matmata. There is very little furniture in these homes and I must say I'm leaning toward this way of life. We just seem to have far too much "stuff". Think of how we could cut down on housework if we got rid of even half our possessions.
Last but not least this gorgeous giraffe at The Giraffe Manor in Nairobi. They peer in through windows and doors at the hotel guests.
"I'm sure there's someone at the window George."
"Don't worry dear, it's just a giraffe".