Category Archives: Blog

Build Africa Ball

Build Africa Ball
June 25th London

Thank you to John Kenny and James Sparshatt who have donated work to be auctioned at the Build Africa Ball to be held at One Mayfair on 25th June.

Build Africa work in remote areas of Kenya and Uganda, combining education and livelihood projects which provide children and their families with the opportunities to live more fulfilled lives. Our aim is not only to support the schools and communities where we work, but to generate sustainable development which can continue without us. 

A good quality of life relies on the fulfilment of certain requirements: having enough nutritious food ensuring a healthy diet; being in good health; having a secure, reliable and sufficient income to cover existing and potential financial needs; having a safe and secure home to live in; to be educated to a level that provides long lasting benefits; and to have easy access to clean water. These aspects are closely connected and achieving them ensures that everyone  we work with can live happier, healthier and more productive lives.

Winter newsletter 2013

Dear friends

We hope you’ve all had a great 2013.  We have had an exciting year with some fantastic art fairs and exhibitions and we’re looking forward to 2014.

Our news

Our show space at 66 Great Suffolk Street in Southwark is now available for by appointment visits.  We will be holding a series of evening artist’s talks in the space during 2014.  We’re situated only a short walk from Tate Modern with the bustling Borough Market just down the road and a great new Gordon Ramsay restaurant opposite.
We are exhibiting at the following art fairs in early 2014
AAF Brussels                 7 – 10 February 2014
AAF Battersea Park        13 – 16 March 2014
AAF New York                        3 – 6  April 2014
AAF Hampstead Heath     12 – 15 June 2014
We will send further emails as tickets become available.
Capital Culture Tours  We plan to launch our first photography holidays next year accompanied by some of our photographers and artists.  Our first trip will be to Cuba with photographer James Sparshatt (a Latin American aficionado!) and the award winning photographer Barry Cawston.  The tours will be fascinating and fun adventures for the budding photographer… More information to follow.
Capital Culture co-founder Ken Climie successfully opened Exposed gallery his new 600 sqm art space in Moscow this year combining art, design, music and culture.

Artist News

Barry Cawston continues to win awards and plaudits for his work.  We wait in anticipation for his new forest inspired images and a planned winter sojourn on Skye…

Monica Denevan is currently in China on an extended trip to create more of her beautiful photographs.  She has recently featured in Lens Culture magazine with a 10 page article about her work.

David Zimmerman is living and working in Dharamsala to continue his project with exiled Tibetan communities.

A series of Rachael Dalzell‘s ink drawings are now hanging in the US Embassy in Dublin, an exhibition is planned for Spring next year at no Format gallery, Greenwich.

Ernesto Fernandez Zalacain has recently had a major solo show in his hometown, Havana.  His photographic installations are an exciting new addition to our collection of work.

John Kenny has had a busy year, his exhibition at the Africa Centre in Covent Garden was followed by the launch of his book Facing Africa during the Parcours des Mondes tribal art fair in Paris.

James Sparshatt has been involved in several exhibitions this year, most recently a platinum print group exhibition with Lee Miller, Frank Horvat, Alvin Langdon Coburn, John Swannell, Gered Mankowitz, Lynda McCartney and Terry O’Neill.  He is returning to Cuba in January.

Gabrielle Pool is dividing her time between New York and Sydney.  We are looking forward to receiving some new ink drawings in the new year.


We have two books available as nice Christmas stocking fillers…

Cuba Land of Spirit   by James Sparshatt
144 pages of beautiful black and white images capturing the pride and passion of Cuba’s people.
£20  plus p&p.

Facing Africa.     by John Kenny
45 of John’s most popular black and white portraits from Africa.

Collectors edition book and print

A limited edition book and print combination.  Each book is signed and numbered and presented in a slipcase, it is accompanied  by a 16″ x 12″ C-type print of Chow.  This is in an edition of 100 and is priced at £250.00.

Signed book            £35 plus p&p.
Unsigned book       £30 plus p&p.

Please contact if you are interested in either books.

Have a very Happy Christmas and a fantastic New Year!

All of our best,

James and Rachael

Facing Africa – John Kenny in Paris

We’re very pleased to announce that John Kenny is releasing his first, much sought after, book Facing Africa L’Afrique en face in September.
The book will be launched in Paris during the Parcours des Mondes tribal art fair.  Capital Culture will be exhibiting a selection of his work at Galerie Vanuxem at 54, rue Mazarine in the Saint-Germain arts district during the fair (September 10th – 15th).

We’d love to see you there!  On Thursday 12th our gallery director, James, will be hosting evening drinks from 6.30pm – 9pm.  On Saturday 12th John will be at the gallery to sign his book from 2pm – 3.30pm.

To celebrate the publication John has produced a Special edition print of Chow to accompany 100 signed, numbered editions of the book.  If you would like to get a copy of either the Special Edition version of the book or a regular book then please contact

Chow_portrait x

Artists’ News – December 2012

Look out for a 5 page article on John Kenny and his latest work in the December issue of Photography Monthly magazine (UK) out this month! ‘A Sense of Contrast’ focuses on his recent trip to Angola.We are very excited about John’s first book coming out next autumn. John is working alongside Merrell Publishers to create a book entitled “African Beauty”. The book will be launched in London and New York in September or October of 2013.

John recently donated several photographs to the exhibition ‘Africa Is Not A Country’ in New Hampshire, US. The juried exhibition, with photographs from across Africa, aimed to raise awareness of the diversity of the continent and as well as funds for a permanent memorial to one of the oldest US African Burial grounds, an important historical record of Africa and its continued legacy in the United States.

David Zimmerman‘s gigantic, stunning portraits selected from his series: One Voice; Tibetans in Exile are being exhibited in The Complete Collection; Photographic Portraits of Tibetan Tulkus 1880-2012. The exhibition is curated by Paola Pivi and is being held at the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin, Italy. It runs from November 9, 2012 – January 6, 2013. The exhibition will also be shown in Rotterdam in 2013.

This month Monica Denevan has donated work to The Friends Without A Border photography auction in New York, the non-profit organisation raises money for high-quality healthcare for children in Southeast Asia.

After a successful exhibition and lecture series at the Atkinson Gallery, Millfield School, Barry Cawston‘s sights are set further afield next year when he travels to Marrakech in Morocco! He has also been commissioned by Open Fundraising to work with the charity World Jewish Relief on a photographic project in Jewish communities in Krakow, Poland.

Ernesto Fernandez Nogueras has had an amazing year of much deserved recognition for his lifelong photographic work. He has been awarded Cuba’s top prize in visual arts, had a major exhibition with his son, also a photographer and also called Ernesto, as part of the Havana Bienale and currently has over 100 of his photos hanging in the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana.

And finally…

James Sparshatt is considering a 17th photographic trip to Cuba where he hopes to capture this fascinating culture once more before it changes forever. We look forward to the results…

Monica Denevan features on the front cover of Black and White Photography Magazine

Monica Denevan’s captivating photographs from Burma are revealed in this months Black and White Photography magazine, with ‘Murma, Burma’ (below) on the front cover.Of her work, Monica says:

My images begin with the friendships and personal connections I make while traveling. I seek out quiet, remote places that have been relatively untouched by industrial development in order to photograph those whose culture and traditional way of life reflect a deep authenticity or bond with the past. I try to focus on the intangible spirit of a place that, for those who live there, represents their daily landscape. Within this setting, the confident, self- possessed courage of the individual reveals itself. Although the people I photograph make up the content of my images, I hope to transcend the depiction of individual lives, by acknowledging their participation in a grander existence; a world of extraordinary resonance and harmony, humming within lives most ordinary.

We are pleased to be showing work from this series at the Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead Heath in November.

James Sparshatt exhibits at Romerias de Mayo arts festival 2012

From the top of the tower I looked out over a sea of smiling faces.  The sun was at its zenith, I was hot, sweaty and a little bit burned but damn I was happy.

I was also very thirsty.   I watched as a petrol truck snaked its way up the hill.  It stopped amidst the throng and three burly individuals clambered on to the roof to open the covers.  Buckets were passed, filled and then lowered by ropes slopping liquid on to the crowd below.  As I drew closer the smell hit me  –  not the acrid tang of fuel but the sweet smell of hops  – a mobile bar Cuban-style.


La Entrada

It was a few months into the new millennium and I was on my second visit to Cuba.  Tourism outside of the main beach resorts was still a relatively new commodity and in the heart of Havana the experience was at times sullied by swarms of jineteros drawn like bees to the honey of foreign visitors’ supposed wealth.  Jinete or jockey had been coined as a term to describe those Cubans who chose to ride on the backs of tourists to escape the economic deprevations caused by the combined whammy of the collapse of the Eastern bloc and US sanctions in the early 90s.

But here in Holguin, a provincial capital at the eastern end of Cuba, I’d discovered something entirely different.  I’d stumbled almost by accident onto Las Romerias de Mayo festival, a celebration of and for young Cubans’ musical and artistic talent.  The annual event seemed a well-kept secret.   I’d met no foreigners in town – seen no group tours, no coach loads of beach vacationing tourists bussed in for the day or armies of camera toting photographers.

Instead I was treated like an honoured guest, welcomed wherever I went.

There was music, dance, lots of rum and a remarkable camaraderie.  For the rest of the week I spent my time in a state of bleary bliss – listening to poetry, trova, salsa, son even the occasional rap or thrash rock band, a camera always in one hand and glass, if not a bottle, of rum in the other.

x Hol00-03-10

Israel Rojas of Buena Fe

Late at night we would gather on the roof of the Caligari, an arts centre on the main square.  Groups that had played music of wildly different styles across the town would mix and play together, guitars were passed from hand to hand, and the celebrations, below a star speckled night, would often continue to dawn and beyond.


Dream fulfilled

On each of the first three nights a group of teenage girls waited patiently to perform, and on each night the more established bands would eat up the available time and they would be told to come back tomorrow.  On the 4th night it was finally their turn.  They set up their equipment, sound-checked and announced the first track and then the heavens opened.  The look of disappointment on their faces was profound, but the other musicians were determined that they be given their chance.  Over the protests of the organisers a room was rapidly cleared and the instruments installed and my love affair with Cuba began.

The girls were amazing but the pleasures of the previous days were as nothing when compared to the next six hours of unrelenting music, of laughter and dancing.  It seemed that I was the only non-musician there as the baton of entertaining was taken up by each and everyone in turn.

I found my way back to Holguin six months later for the Festival Iberoamericana.  By that time I had started a photographic course at the London College of Printing and I was in love with the darkroom and the alchemistic pleasure of printing from my negatives, of giving rebirth to my memories of long afternoons and late nights.  I showed a few prints to the festival directors and they invited me to exhibit in Holguin at the Romerias in 2001, then again in 2002 and 2003.


Diego Cano

The musicians I met then have mostly moved on, many to live and work in Europe.  I watch their progress on YouTube with huge pleasure.  Rolando Berrio, Diego Cano, Eduardo Sosa, Frank Delgado, Buena Fe, Aceituna sin Hueso… the list is long and full of exceptional talent.

The Romerias de Mayo is no longer a secret.  The Facebook group is global and I’m sure this week the city will be filled with people from all over the world.  My work has also travelled back for an exhibition this year, sadly without me, I hope to return in 2013 to a changed but I hope still wonderful world.

John Kenny talks about Sub Saharan Journeys: 6 years of visiting Africa’s remotest communities

Courtesy of The Globetrotters Club, John will be giving a talk about his Sub-Saharan journeys this Saturday 14th April, 2.30pm at The Church of Scotland, behind the Fortune Theatre in Covent Garden.  Entrance £6 per non member.

Since 2006 his focus has been on Sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the pivotal role that traditional communities play in humanity’s survival in places where the earth’s resources are minimal. His work emphasizes the positive role that Africa and Africans play in the 21st Century and also highlights the threats to traditional ways of life today. John’s work has been exhibited worldwide through international art shows and has been featured in The Times of London, The Telegraph, and the international art and photography press.

John actively supports organisations that work within traditional African communities and has been a guest on BBC Radio and at the London International Documentary Festival. Last year John donated works in support of Survival international, Concern Worldwide, and his work was auctioned at Sotheby’s New York in aid of ‘Art for Africa’.  John has been visiting tribes across the African continent for six years as part of an ongoing photography project and will be talking through his most memorable experiences across West, East and Southern Africa. The talk will be accompanied by a slideshow featuring some of the remarkable people that he has met on this journey, and why these people and their communities matter to him in the 21st Century.

Last Refuge – A new series of photographs by David Zimmerman

We are pleased to announce a new series of work titled ‘Last Refuge’ by award winning photographer David Zimmerman.   About this work David explains:

‘The ‘Last Refuge’ series was photographed in a community of people who live in the desert entirely removed from society, where there is no water or electricity. Driven by hardship and the need for independence, these people create shelter with scrap and good intentions. The clothing in these pictures was one mans roof.’

‘Last Refuge’ has been exhibited at the Detroit Centre for Contemporary Photography and will open as a solo exhibition in New York City, in Soho on the 8th December.   David’s photographs have also been shortlisted for the Terry O’Neill Award 2011, opens 8th December at the Hot Shoe Gallery, London.

A new series of platinum / palladium prints from David’s Desert project has been awarded third prize by juror Michael Mazzeo (Michael Mazzeo Gallery, New York City).