Introducing Guns & Rain: Julie Taylor

Posted in In the Studio by Guns & Rain on 21st November 2014

Julie Taylor is founder and director of Guns & Rain, a new online platform for contemporary fine art from Africa.  She is an anthropologist, communications guru and art entrepreneur, interested in addressing the under-representation of African fine art in the global economy.  Before moving into art, she was Google’s Head of Communications and Public Affairs for Sub-Saharan Africa.  Born and raised in Zimbabwe, she holds degrees from Oxford and Cambridge in Social Anthropology and Development Studies.

For a long time, African contemporary art has been under-recognised. But that’s now changing fast, thanks in part to technology and new platforms like RiseArt.  I’m passionate about this exact intersection - where technology, the creative spirit and development come together.

Nize Nisikhonzele Phela Bandla Bo 2
Bambo Sibiya

As a result I created Guns & Rain, a platform for contemporary African fine art which, like RiseArt, helps make art more accessible and helps provide artists with new opportunities.  It’s an exciting privilege to witness the enormous creativity in Johannesburg South Africa, where I’m based, and across the southern African region in countries like Zimbabwe and Namibia.  As for other emerging regions, the internet is going to play a critical role in showcasing African contemporary art as it comes of age.

Fetish Doll
Bevan de Wet

In case you’re wondering about the name ‘Guns & Rain’, it comes from the acclaimed book by anthropologist and playwright David Lan, who wrote about guerrillas and spirit mediums in Zimbabwe’s independence war — for its reference to nature, culture, identity, land, struggle, change, and many other important African themes.  These same themes inform the work many young African artists, and indeed what catches my eye.

Field of View XXV
Richard Penn


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