Located in the bustling city of Dakar Senegal is the artist’s residency, Black Rock. Black Rock is one of the most aesthetically pleasing buildings you will see anywhere in Africa.
Developed by the famous Nigerian American artist, Kehinde Wiley exposes artists, filmmakers, and writers from all over the world to the creativity present in Senegal, particularly in the city of Dakar, regarded as the hub of designs in Africa.
Design of the Black Rock Residency
The residency includes three single apartments, adjacent studio spaces, and a fourth apartment and studio used by Wiley. The overarching concept of Black Rock, based on the nature and the physical environment of Dakar, infuses the seaside setting of black volcanic rocks overlooking the Yoff Virage village cliffside community.
The design is deliberately minimalistic yet modern, in a bid to not overshadow the surrounding stunningly beautiful natural environment which Djenne and Wiley believe is necessary to inspire the artists who will be residents to be their creative best.
The building painted black and grey, aligns with the chic and modern design theme. The front doors made from Cameroonian Amazakoue wood, which faces Goree’s coast, is where slaves departed to America.
The architectural design of the Black Rock building pays tribute and appreciation to African slaves’ sacrifices.
Each apartment is separated by a well-manicured tropical garden, an infinity pool, a koi pond, and a fountain to focus on the natural environment.
The interior of the building features Senegalese artists’ artwork, such as Solly Cisse and Ngimbi Luve, and a unique glass table that uses a local volcanic rock for its base. The interior and exterior design and architecture is unique and fits perfectly into the Dakar creative space.
Who can visit?
Black Rock is opened up to the public twice annually to allow people to peek at the creativity inside the compound. The residency hosts three artists or other creatives for one to three months to explore their creative abilities and stimulate their artistic flow.
The artists get the opportunity to connect with local artists in Dakar, grow their network, and paid a small stipend to assist with purchasing art supplies and cover their necessary living expenses.
Black Rock is one of the first art residencies in Senegal, and its establishment shows Senegal’s growing relevance in the art scene. It will hopefully serve as a springboard for the continued growth of the creative industries in Senegal. We will probably see the emergence of Africa’s next great artist from this initiative by Kehinde Wiley.
The residency stands out on the Dakar coast because of its design and its cultural significance. The exposure that the African art culture will get on a globally cannot be quantified.
Black Rock is undoubtedly here to stay, and you can’t afford to miss it because of its unique design aesthetics.