Founded in 2018 by artist and designer Evan Jerry, Studio ANANSI approaches contemporary design from a unique and personal perspective, one that explores the beauty of black culture, history, and traditional craft.
As a child growing up in Canada, Jerry was introduced to his studio’s namesake by way of the rich oral tradition of storytelling – commonly taking the form of a spider, ANANSI is a prominent figure of West African and Caribbean folklore and often regarded as a god of all knowledge of stories. Passed down throughout his childhood, the fables resonated with Jerry and helped form insights on how to understand and navigate the world. These lessons are interpreted with new narratives through his work at his London-based studio; referencing Afro and black cultural heritages, Jerry’s hand-crafted objects are defined by a sculptural, architectural, and, at moments, primitive approach.
At once rooted in tradition and embracing of new design languages, Studio ANANSI explores the beauty of blackness through collectible objects that deftly harmonize simplistic form and complex tactility. Debuting with a cohesive collection of bowls and vessels, Studio ANANSI presents a unique perspective on the history of black culture and craftsmanship.
Meeting at the intersection of art and design, each piece is made from wood – chosen for its tactile and yielding nature – and revisits traditional craft in a thoroughly modern way. After being hand-turned, the sculpted objects undergo a specialized burning process that results in an appearance that manages to be both fluid and static, and one that intentionally conveys the struggles, events, love, loss, pain, suffering and – above all – beauty that the black body endures.
“This collection is the first in a series intended to explore countless
expressions of African diaspora and blackness through functional art
objects. Their simple forms are rooted in African art, reimagined
through a process that results in a textured, sculptural and vulnerable
beauty that represents a visual narrative currently underrepresented in
the world of design.”
- Evan Jerry, Studio ANANSI