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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Witness: the Spectre of Memory in Contemporary African Art

Aminatta Forna with curator Ed Cross at WITNESS: the spectre of memory in contemporary African art, in the background a painting by Zimbabwe's Lovemore Kambudzi

What the critics say!

"If you are in Edinburgh go to this show. 23 Atholl Crescent - 5 mins walk from the Book Festival site. It's brilliant".

Aminatta Forna

Author of The Memory of Love, The Devil that Danced on the Water and other titles

"Africa's economy is fast moving out of the doldrums, and a new breed of wealthy would-be art patron is looking around at the bargains on offer.
Bonhams and
Philips now have auctions with an Africa theme, and are a good place to start. But if you want friendly expert advice, try Edinburgh, where Ed Cross's Festival exhibition has some magnificent examples of art worth enjoy, or as an investment, or both.

If you can persuade him to part with a 'not for sale' work by Lovemore Kambudzi you won't regret it, for this is sure to become an African classic.

True, prices seem high for relatively unknown artists - and I reckon it would take 15-20,000 before Ed and the owner might change their mind about a work that dominates the exhibition If they won't budge, buy up the remaining Donkey pieces, (by Peterson Kamwathi) with their sharp social comment and bitter humour.

Price? About £1500 each. In a couple of years they will be seen as a steal."

Michael Holman
Africa editor of the Financial Times 1984-2002
Author of the Fatboy and the Dancing Ladies