1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair’s London edition goes ahead

Prince Gyasi, Crumple Zone, 2019. Courtesy Nil Gallery
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Updated 02 August 2020

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair’s London edition goes ahead

  • A scaled-down version of the event will be held at Somerset House in October

DUBAI: In a year that has been marked by cancelations, some good news has arrived for the art world. The popular 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will return to London for an eighth edition at its regular spot in Somerset House.

“The decision to go ahead with 1-54 London this coming October started first with the enthusiasm of our galleries to participate in a physical art fair followed by the announcement of the UK regulations regarding trade fairs going back to normal starting the 1st of October,” fair director and founder, Touria El Glaoui, told Arab News.

Born and raised in Morocco, after beginning a career in the banking industry and working as a wealth management consultant, she founded the annual 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in 2013 as a way of consolidating the rich art scenes on the African continent and generated by the African diaspora. The fair now has three annual editions in London, New York and Marrakech.




Ekene Maduka, After Hours, 2019. Courtesy Polartics

Alongside a scaled-down version of the fair presenting 20 international galleries — about half the amount of last year’s event — the fair will also show online in partnership with Christie’s.

The collaboration reveals Christie’s commitment to presenting contemporary African art to their global client base. Selected works from the fair will be exhibited in Christie’s King Street galleries throughout October.

“1-54 has become a definitive moment in London’s art calendar, and we are delighted and proud to partner with this fair,” said Dirk Boll, president, Christie’s Europe, Middle East, Russia and India, in a statement.

“Together we will provide a ground-breaking platform that allows participating galleries to showcase more artists and more artworks, thus continuing the fair’s ever-expanding capabilities for bringing the very best contemporary African art to an international audience,” he said.




Prince Gyasi, Humility, 2019. Courtesy Nil Gallery

The fair will once again be accompanied by 1-54 Forum, its extensive program of artists’ talks, film screenings and panel discussions that will be curated by Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba from C& and take place both at Somerset House and online.

“We are very excited to go ahead with our 8th edition at Somerset House, but of course monitoring very closely all new changes that could impact our galleries and making sure we stay very flexible,” El Glaoui said.

Visitors will need to comply with 1-54’s health and safety measures implemented in collaboration with Somerset House and in compliance with UK regulations.




Benji Reid, Moon on a Cloud, 2019. Courtesy October Gallery

Strict sanitary measures will be in place to ensure everyone’s health and security, including a one-way circuit through the fair, time-slot ticketing and VIP access system, which visitors need to pre-book online. The fair will provide hand sanitizer, cleaning measures, hands-free systems and limited capacity control at all times.

In September the fair will announce full details of its safety measures and visitor experiences. A list of participating galleries will also be announced then.


5 reasons to add spinach to your diet

Updated 08 August 2020

5 reasons to add spinach to your diet

DUBAI: Devinder Bains, personal trainer and nutrition coach at Fit Squad DXB, shares her advice on the superfoods that will help you lead a longer and healthier life…

If you want a food that’s cheap, versatile and packed with nutrients, then you can’t go wrong with spinach. Throw a handful into a fruit or vegetable smoothie, cook it as a side dish with meat or knock out a saag curry as a main and reap the health rewards listed below.

Improved eye health

Spinach is high in the antioxidant pigments zeaxanthin and lutein, which protect your eyes from damage caused by sunlight. They also work to prevent macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly. Studies have also shown that zeaxanthin and lutein play a part in preventing cataracts.

Healthy pregnancy

As spinach is packed with fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate and potassium, it’s the perfect food for pregnant women. Leafy greens are also rich in powerful immune-boosting antioxidants and contain plant compounds that may help prevent constipation, a common problem among pregnant women.

There are plenty of health rewards to be reaped from the super food. Shutterstock

Blood clotting

One spinach leaf contains over half of your daily requirements of vitamin K1, which is essential for healthy bones. It also helps white blood cells to clot effectively, preventing you from bleeding out when you are injured. Anyone who is taking blood-thinning medication such as Warfarin should speak to their doctor before increasing their intake of spinach or other leafy greens.

Healthy teeth

This super green is high in catenoids, which our bodies turn into vitamin A. This vitamin plays a key role in keeping gums healthy and in building tooth enamel. Spinach is also high in calcium, which helps harden your enamel, strengthen your jawbone, and build strong bones. In fact, spinach is also rich in vitamin D, dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C, all of which are important nutrients for bone health.

Healthy hair

This is where vitamin A comes in again, as it is necessary for sebum production to keep hair moisturized, helping it to look glossy and grow. It can also help reduce hair loss. Vitamin A is actually used in the growth of all bodily tissues, so it is essential for healthy skin as well.