Friday, November 2, 2012


Fusion of the Arts:


Earlier this year, a dear friend of mine in New York, Fashion designer Kibonen Nfi, contacted me regarding an idea for her new collection. We brainstormed this idea she had been toiling with; regarding commissioning me to do some paintings which she would then have printed onto various different fabrics which she would design accordingly.

A month or so ago, Kibonen was invited to be part of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa (the continent's biggest fashion showcase) It was to be the perfect time to put the ideas who had earlier spoken about into action!

With faith and determination, we only had 3 weeks to get everything done. The deadline was very tight!
The show was to take place from the 24th-28th October in Johannesburg. I had 3 days to work on two canvases so she could then start her own work.

Now, we are two ladies from Bamenda, in Cameroon, and we both love and love to promote our culture, so this collaboration is perfect! Previously in the past, I made paintings of the New Year celebrations depicting the 'toghu' worn in the Baforchu temple celebrations. Kibonen's work also, very much celebrates the ‘toghu’. 
The ‘toghu' was recently made national wear and was the traditional regalia worn by the Cameroon team during the opening of the London Olympics.

We spoke about the concept of the two pieces. Of course one had to be the 'toghu'... and the other was the 'ndop'.  The former originating from Bamenda, the NW province of Cameroon. The latter from the western province. She had one important request; the 'gong' must feature and ofcourse with the 'gong' featuring in her logo, I must oblige!

After several conversations with my mum, whose father was one of the only people able to embroider the 'toghu' garments in his day in Santa, Bamenda; I designed the pattern I wanted to paint. Guided by the brief and inspired by my mother’s wedding ‘toghu’ attire, I got to work! Then I did the same for the 'ndop' and painted away, using ample paint and making them as painterly as I could so that the brush strokes would be visible once printed onto the fabrics. Also I had to think carefully about how garments would be tailored from them, so the square pattern I created had to be able to mirror well, be repeated sequentially, placed upside down, or to the side etc for a good variety in garment/fashion design.

Working on the 'toghu' design

Working on the 'Ndop' design

Right! Two complete canvasses ready for Kibonen / KNY.

From her base in New York, she created swatches to help her decide which colours and fabrics worked best. She experimented with various colour alternatives and fabrics before getting to work on designing and sewing.

She got to work, designed and created and the 'Milagro' collection was borne, ready for the 2012 Mercedes-benz Fashion week Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Featuring these pieces with the brush strokes of SHIRI ACHU.

Kibonen did a fantastic job!! Ofcourse I will be owning a number of these pieces. You should too! Please feel free to visit this sites for more info on the collection/event:

What do you think of this 'art' and 'fashion' collaboration?  I hope this is not the end, but merely the beginning of the fusion of these art forms. I look forward to seeing my brushstrokes worn by many, perhaps you - soon! :-)

All the best,


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

SHIRI ACHU ART at the SMITHSONIAN / National Museum of African Art, USA

Greetings to you all.

I’m very excited to share that the SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION in the United States of America  have placed their first, and now their second order for SHIRI ACHU ART PRINTS which are on sale in the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN ART in Washington DC – exhibiting the finest examples of traditional and contemporary art from the entire continent of Africa.

The Smithsonian Institution was established in 1846 and is the world's largest museum and research complex, which includes 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park, and is administered by the United States government.

Monday, October 22, 2012


I had been invited to exhibit at the African Village for the London 2012 Olympics!!
During 'Cameroon Day' at the African Village on the 2nd of August, It was an honor to have met Football legend and Cameroon's very own ROGER MILLA!
Mr Milla acquired a Signed SHIRIACHUART Limited Edition Framed Print 'Along 2'.

Monday, July 16, 2012

SHIRI ACHU ART on TV show ‘Show Me The Monet’ BBC2

‘Show Me The Monet’ BBC2 / Wednesday 18th July 2012

Last November, or was it December, there was a call out for artists to submit their paintings which would be judged on the BBC2 art show ‘Show me the Monet’.

I took a shot and entered one of my new pieces, entitled ‘Rose’, which I had just previously been invited to exhibit at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough house, Pall Mall, London on the 6th of December for Human rights week – Empowering women through art.

A few months passed and I received a call to be told I had made it through to Stage One Selection and my piece was one of the art works selected out of the 3000 entries down to 300 by art critics. Following this was Stage 2 where I was then called in for the Audition day, which was a meeting to talk about myself, my work etc

A month after Stage 2 audition day, in mid February I was called again to be advised I was through to stage 3 – The hanging committee and I was one of 150 selected for the Show Me The Monet Hanging Committee Judging which took place in March. The Judging panel consisted of 3 top art critics, Charlotte Mullins, David Lee and Roy Bolton, who based their decision on these judging criteria’s; The originality of the work, The technical skill of the artist and the emotional response evoked by the work.

Unfortunately I didn’t make it through to Stage 4, the exhibition and sale and be amongst the final 80 or so who had their works exhibited and perhaps purchased. Perhaps I didn’t defend my piece well enough, perhaps they didn’t understand what I am trying to portray in the piece… (although I recall the judges did say the piece had emotional content and was original) but I am happy to have been part of the experience and will take on the critiques given, to make these series of pieces I am currently working on for a grand exhibition next year, great!

Here, I present the painting I had submitted, ‘Rose’ for your comments and critique etc.

The footage of me presenting 'Rose' to the judges on the show, and their critique/review, will be aired this Wednesday, 18th July at 3pm on BBC 2.

Enjoy! And please do leave your comments on the art piece BEFORE the show and comments AFTER the show… I appreciate all your comments, views, critiques etc

Thank you.


Shiri Achu
Acrylics on hardboard
(October 2011)

Signed limited edition prints for sale!!
Approx size A4 - £40
Approx size A3 - £65