Ed Suter launches wallpaper

The Cape Town-based photographer brings the vibrant style of Africa's street life and tropical climate indoors.

South African photographer Ed Suter doesn't just take pictures. He turns them into books, placemats, scatter cushions, coasters – and now wallpaper, too.

He has launched a range of wallpapers capturing the vibrant streets and tropical flavour of Africa in bright and bold imagery.

“I wanted to use my images on a bigger scale and I have always thought that my images work best when a lot of them are seen together,” he says. “Wallpaper seemed like a logical application for my photos. I think it is a way of creating a strong visual world.”

He turned to Robin Sprong with the idea of doing a wallpaper collection based on his book Sharp Sharp, published in 2012, which documented signage, street fashion, informal traders' stalls, packaging and street art on his travels across the country. Together they worked on a collection consisting of four wallpaper designs – Blue Wall, Palms, Red Diamond and Take Away Special – that use images that Suter shot in both South Africa and Ghana. 

Suter decided to use colour as a way of selecting photos to create a flow from one image to the next. “I also chose images that weren't too complex, that helped in generating an optimistic view of the characterful streets I often photograph,” he says. “I think a lot of my work revolves around re-looking at what is right in front of me, finding the humour and asking what makes life in South Africa or Africa different to other parts of the world.”

His answer to the question about what makes different: “The colours are bright, the fabrics bold, the characters quirky and the light is just right.”