ARTICLES

Darren Appiagyei: Carving up a Storm

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What do you get when you mix exotic wood with a man who lives for attention to detail? You get In The Grain, Darren Appiagyei’s, product design company which specialises in bespoke wooden pieces to cater to your tastes.

In The Grain is a design company which aim is to give unique experiences through wood.

One of the key components of In The Grain is the exploration of exotic woods, with there being an emphasis on analysis, malleability and understanding of material in order to create a functional object.

The Man Behind the Wood

Born and raised in South London, Darren’s pieces meticulously bring together contemporary styles with exotic classic designs. All of his pieces are designed, carved and crafted in his Cockpit Arts Deptford workshop where his passion is materialised.

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Darren Appiagye, CEO and Founder of In The Grain

 

We caught up with Darren to see where he gets his inspiration from

Darren: “I would say I get my inspiration from nature, it’s intrinsic beauty, its rawness and unforgiving nature.”

Ghanaian Roots

Darren is of Ghanaian descent so we asked him if his heritage influences his designs

Darren: “In The Grain is highly inspired by Ghanaian wood carving the rawness, exploration of texture and spiritual significance associated with every piece made.”

It’s clear Darren likes what nature has to offer, especially woods, some of Darren’s favourite woods to work with are the African Blackwood, Banksia nut, cork oak, Cat paw oak and many other woods. It’s also reassuring that Darren is proud of his African heritage and uses it to fuel his creativity.

Still trying to get the root of his passion, we asked him why wood design is his chosen craft.

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Darren’s handmade Wooden Bowl

Darren: “I find woodturning very therapeutic, starting from scratch with a piece of wood in it’s natural state and just embracing the wood for what it is, shaping and carving the wood to complement its beauty.”

There is a beauty in creation, imagining something and using your skills to physically bring this conception to life. Darren is clearly passionate about the power of creation.

Darren is about to begin his summer tours, exhibiting around London.

Where to see him next?

Over the next two weeks you can catch Darren and his exotic pieces and one of the following places:

Wednesday 27th June 2018 – Top 100 1 Year In – Islington

Thursday 28th June 2018 – Top 100 1 Year In – Islington

Friday 29th June 2018 – Top 100 1 Year In – Islington

With all these dates to catch Darren we wanted to ask what can people expect at his exhibitions

Darren: “I think what people can expect is a collection of bowls and vessels demonstrating beauty, which doesn’t have to be refined, polished or neat. That there is so much beauty in the rawness of wood, the wonders of wood is amazing we just have to embrace it.”

Darren answers all of his questions with such grace and vigour, a true artist in every sense of the word. So we had to try and throw him off with our last question by asking what came first the seed or the tree.

 Darren: “The seed is the thought, with a thought nothing can be developed!”   

 He doesn’t disappoint come along to find out what makes In The Grain a cut above the rest.

 

TWN Editor

Chijioke Anosike

 

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Engaging Urban Youth: Community, Citizenship and Democracy

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Last Friday saw the Greater London Authority’s Peer Outreach team host a stakeholder engagement workshop with academic Professor Robert J Chaskin of The University of Chicago and UNESCO Chair for Inclusive Urbanism. He discussed his research and it was a chance for people who had an interest in engaging urban youth with politics to access his findings and feed into his research.

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A student’s plea for SOAS to decolonise curriculum

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Recently the Director of SOAS University , Baroness Valerie Amos, said she is “looking at how to decolonise knowledge and in particular decolonise our literature and pedagogy” to ensure better representation for all students. I caught up with Angelica, a BA International Relations and Politics third-year undergraduate who studies at SOAS, to discuss her thoughts on what this all means for her.
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Wakanda: Visions of a new African Politics

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Wakanda, the fictional nation that came to life for thousands of people all over the world who were lucky enough to watch Black Panther. This Marvel breakout film was finely woven to illustrate how a different culture and politics can still have an impact in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although a fictional story, I think it contains two underlying truths that African leaders would do well to grasp.

Continue reading “Wakanda: Visions of a new African Politics”

50,000 Reasons to Celebrate

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Last night I went to The Common Sense Network, a news company that is set on the path to permanently revolutionise British media. After a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised £50,000 the team and supporters behind The Common Sense Network celebrated in style with delicious red-velvet cake and topical conversation about Beyonce’s legendary status. You could literally feel the energy and desire for these young people to create change in the British media landscape, and that’s why I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next!

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