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The Cowrie Culture Presents 



The online exhibition, The Ties That Bind Us, is the result of an open call announced by The Cowrie Culture for artists from African countries and the African Diaspora. The exhibition title, The Ties That Bind Us, is a recognition and celebration of the ideals, shared aspirations, longings, resilience, creative inspiration, and nuanced cultural representations of blackness reflected in art made in Africa and by the African Diaspora.

Over 300 applications were received and this group of 15 artists based in 10 countries on 4 continents were selected to participate in the online exhibition and corresponding “Artist as Entrepreneur” online course. 


The Ties That Bind Us exhibition is a celebration of black and brown cultures. It is an exhibition that allows emerging artists from Africa and the African Diaspora to celebrate, critique, and epitomise ideals that reflect their proximal and distal connections to their African ancestry.

Throughout the exhibition, artists present works that acknowledge the significance of identity, blackness, spiritualism, history, socio-politics, youth, and contemporary representations of quotidian life on the Continent, as recognised by the African Diaspora. The online exhibition combines digital art, photography, mixed media, and paintings on canvas to comment on the contemporary culture of the young, emerging artists who made the works.

The Ties That Bind Us exhibition is an audacious attempt to present a collective of fresh, artistic experimentations in visual culture unique to the global, Neo-African and African Diasporic vernacular of artists from Brazil, Dominican Republic, Canada, Ghana, United Kingdom, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and France.

Above artwork: Naki Narh, The Ghanaian Conscience, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 600 cm, not for sale

Participating Artists

Oyedele Abiodun, Nigeria

Natnael Ashebir, Ethiopia

Reginald Boateng, Ghana

Ongere Churchill, Kenya

Ibim Cookey, Nigeria

Lawrence Meju, Nigeria

Naki Narh, Ghana/United Kingdom

Mzwanele ‘Rez Inyanzi’ Tshishonga, South Africa

Leticia Sánchez Garris, Dominican Republic

Nina Satie, Brazil

Frederick Tetteh, Ghana/Canada

Laura Tolen, France

VAS, Ghana

Emmanuel Kwaku Yaro, Ghana

Awanle Hawa Ayiboro, Ghana

Featured Artworks

Natnael Ashebir, Screen Contemplation 05, 2021, digital print on canvas, 50 x 50 cm, edition of 5, $600

Ibim Cookey, Victor, 2022, charcoal and acrylic on paper, 69.8 x 60 cm, R 55,946.10 ex. VAT / $3500

Reginald Boateng, “Togetherness” from the Jamestown Summer Boys Series, 2020, edition 5/5, print on lustre or matte photography paper, 50.8cm x 76.2cm, R 11,189.22 ex. VAT / $700

Naki Narh, We the People, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 600 cm, not for sale


Founded in July 2021, the Cowrie Culture is an Arts advocacy and exhibition platform dedicated to art made in Africa and by the African Diaspora.

The Cowrie Culture is committed to the expansion and sustainability of the contemporary art ecosystem in Ghana and across The African continent.

The Cowrie Culture believes that partnerships with extraordinary people will help fulfill its mission.


The COWRIE Culture has 5 goals:

  1. Raise awareness about the potential impact that contemporary art can have on social and economic development in Africa.
  2. Support emerging and early career artists through online professional development training programs focused on all aspects of the global art market and the business of being an artist.
  3. Build a base of new art collectors and art patrons in African countries to help grow and sustain domestic art ecosystems across the continent.
  4. Ensure the cultural preservation of contemporary art by making it available in African countries for people in Africa and our visitors from around the world to experience, especially those from the African Diaspora.
  5. Develop art programs and academic institutions to train the next generation of artists.

These goals are ambitious, and that is why the Cowrie Culture welcomes philanthropic support and collaborations with extraordinary people and institutions.

Media contact: | Nish McCree, Founder

Further Reading In Articles

African Artist Directory

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