My love for West African art was sparked in 1997, when I first ventured to Ghana on a musical pilgrimage. I instantly fell for the creative soul of the region and returned for a truly epic tour the following year: a 8,000km journey across Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Mali. Life truly imitates art in West Africa. Earthy colours, striking forms & patterns, simplicity and the stories behind every piece: I knew people back home would love it.
Establishing many great friendships & trading partnerships, I began importing and selling right away. Fast-forward to 2018 and Bashiri stands as Australia’s only dedicated West African showroom. We return every year to support our favourite artisans and forge new relationships, bringing in at least two containers annually. There’s always something new and different in our gallery.
Our vision is to increase exposure for African artists in the burgeoning Australian market. Masks, Paintings, Artefacts, Textiles and Jewellery – every piece is hand crafted, original and tells a story about the everyday and the extraordinary, teaching us about the history and culture of the region.
We hope Bashiri’s presence will strengthen the appreciation and preservation of West Africa’s amazing culture.
Simon Fraser, Director.
We believe in supporting and respecting the artists we buy from, doing business at local and fair market prices. We get to know each artist and supplier personally, establishing rapport and learning about the pieces they create before purchasing.
Our relationships with these artists and suppliers are strengthened by our annual visits. We believe this mutual loyalty and respect fosters good karma and results in these wonderful products being created with greater pride, respect and care.
Our Bolga Baskets are personally purchased by our Director Simon in the satellite villages of Bolgatanga in northern Ghana.
We have been working with the same weavers since 1997 and have established a successful ongoing partnership that employs over 30 locals and their families
As we trade directly with the artisans there is not a certificate per se, even though the trade conditions match those of certified programs.