The Magazine of Ethiopian Airlines

5 must-see African exhibitions in London 2022

This year, the British capital is brimming with displays from talented African artists and designers. Here's our pick of the best

Alphadi, Catwalk Image, c.1992-3 © Alphadi

1. Africa Fashion, V&A

Undoubtedly one of the most exciting exhibitions opening this year, ‘Africa Fashion’ at the V&A (2 July-16 April 2023) is a celebration of the creativity and ingenuity of the continent’s fashion scene. It’s set to feature 45 designers from more than 20 countries and showcase some 250 items. Visitors will discover the influence that social and political movements have had on Africa’s fashions, and the sartorial impact they’ve had on the rest of the world.

V&A, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL  

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Tie the Temptress to the Trojan, 2018, Collection of Michael Bertrand, Toronto © Courtesy of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

2. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye – Fly in League with the Night, Tate Britain

For anyone disappointed that this acclaimed British-Ghanaian artist’s 2020 exhibition was cut short by the pandemic, your chance to see it has come around again. Running from 24 November 2022 until 26 February 2023 and bringing together some 70 works, this is the biggest survey of Yiadom-Boakye’s career to date. Stare into the eyes of the fictitious people in her portraits, which she’s based on found photos or plucked from her imagination. 

Tate Britain, Millbank, SW1P 4RG


Good Hair. Photo: Alice Kayibanda

3. The Good Wife by Alice Kayibanda, Signature African Art

Walk don’t run to this small photography exhibition which ends on 3 July. The Good Wife is a deeply personal project from Rwandan artist Alice Kayibanda. With her daughter as her model, she has used her art to explore the effects of depression – something she experienced as a result of being in an abusive relationship. Each photo combines skilled composition with profound emotion. 

20 Davies street, W1K 3DT

Sedrick Chisom, Medusa Wandered the Wetlands of the Capital Citadel Undisturbed by Two Confederate Drifters Preoccupied by Poisonous Vapors that Stirred in the Night Air © Sedrick Chisom. Courtesy the artist and Pilar Corrias, London. Photo: Mark Blower

4. In the Black Fantastic, Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre

This diverse exhibition is a great place to discover innovative contemporary artists from the African diaspora. Featuring pieces from the likes of painter Sedrick Chisom, Multimedia artist Cauleen Smith, visual artist Wangechi Mutu, and eight others, ‘In The Black Fantastic’ (29 June-18 September) explores sci-fi, spiritual tradition and myth, and Afrofuturism in imaginative and fantastical ways. 

Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX

William Kentridge, The Conservationists' Ball, 1985. Charcoal, coloured pastel and gouache on paper (triptych). Rembrandt van Rijn Art Foundation collection. Rupert Museum, Stellenbosch, South Africa © William Kentridge

5. William Kentridge, Royal Academy of Arts

This autumn (24 September-11 December), the Royal Academy of Arts is hosting the biggest exhibition of renowned South African artist William Kentridge’s work. It will cover his 40-year career so far, starting with his early work produced during apartheid and continuing through to present day, showcasing some pieces that he’s created especially for the show. Visitors can take in – among myriad other pieces – Kentridge’s signature charcoal trees and flowers, huge tapestries, and his three-screen film Notes Towards a Model Opera.

Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD