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Mirella Ricciardi – Africa Wins Again

We are thrilled to announce the return of Mirella Ricciardi to Guinevere, with her latest exhibition “Africa Wins Again”. Unlike the last exhibition we held, this one is awash with colour. A selection of the photographs are one offs, hand coloured by Mirella herself, and therefore truly unique pieces. The other half of the collection focuses on images taken in Djenne in Mali. Unfortunately due to current situations we know not everyone will be able to physically come and view the exhibition space so we have made a virtual tour below.

One day, long ago, I was invited by IBM to give a talk to the 100 best IBM salesmen and women of the year – the venue was Bamako the capital of Mali in West Africa.

I had always wanted to have a look at the west of Africa, so instead of returning to London with the selected few I climbed into a ‘Taxi Brousse’ ( bush taxi ) and headed to Timbuktu the legendary ancient desert town I had read about in the memoirs of the great explorers who had put it on the map. Before leaving I paid a visit to the Grand Mufti, whose headquarters were in Bamako, to inform him of my intentions – he received me with the traditional African curtsy and invited me to lunch; offered me his car and driver Ali to take me to the taxi rank in town – on our way I stopped at the local ‘Super Marche’ to get myself a sandwich and a bottle of water – I left my suitcase and camera bag in the safety of Ali in the car – when I returned a short while later my camera bag, which was on the front seat between us was not there, I asked Ali to take me back to the Mufti, but the Mufti was not home…after the panic had subsided I remembered that I had packed a spare camera and Zoom lens among my clothes in my suitcase which was still in the back of the vehicle – My panic swiftly turned to survival mode and my hunters instinct kicked in.

The Malien people I saw in Bamako with their long flowing robes and elegant stance had alerted me of the visual potential that lay ahead , so I decided to continue my journey with just the single camera – when we reached Djenne I got out of the taxi-brousse – it was market day and all around me beautiful people in their colourful flowing robes and large brimmed hats moved around me in slow motion – I did not need to go any further – the pictures on the wall speak for themselves…..

Mirella Ricciardi 2020.