Adisabeba Ethiopia Art
A group of artists gathered for the first time last weekend at the Adisabba Ethiopia Art Gallery in the heart of the city.
The gallery, which opened in Addis Ababa in January 2016, was founded in 2015 as the AFA Project Space in London and specialises in Ethiopian art and its cultural heritage, as well as contemporary art. Hidden in the picturesque streets of the city centre is the Adisabba Ethiopian Art Gallery, founded by Rakeb Sile and Mesai Haileleul, dedicated to the art and culture of their homeland. The two soon agreed that to represent Ethiopian art in their new home, they needed a space in East Africa, and that they had no choice but to open their own gallery. Sculptures of many shapes and sizes are scattered on the walls of galleries, offering a mix of traditional and contemporary works by artists from around the country and beyond.
From an international perspective, Addis Fine Art is really the only visible gallery in Ethiopia, and it is easy to overlook it if you don't know where to look. It is one of the most exciting galleries in Africa, but we wanted it to be more than just a local space with its own cultural heritage and identity.
Most of them are graduates of the Addis Ababa Art School, but also artists from other parts of East Africa, including Abdalla Bashir from Sudan. Ethiopian artists have a special aesthetic, "says Kristin Hjellegjerde, who runs her own gallery, Abebe Belete Solomon, which represents them. For the artists living in Ethiopia, it is not just a question of hanging their works in a white room, but also of working on a variety of surfaces such as walls, floors, walls and ceilings.
These include the art school in Addis Ababa, where women are trained, and the artists in Ethiopia, who today receive recognition for their exhibitions. To explain more precisely how far art has come over the years, awib has done some research and interviewed some experienced and knowledgeable artists from Ethiopia.
The Addis Ababa Art School itself discourages potential artists from attending the school because of its long list of requirements. The school is affiliated to Addes Ababe University, but it has been in preparation for over 25 years. It aims to show art from Ethiopia's past, present and future, which is merged with old and new art.
The project Free Art Felega, founded by the artist Yenatfenta Abate, offers Ethiopian artists from various disciplines a platform to exhibit and work internationally, to discuss, exchange ideas and learn from each other. The goal is simple: to provide a platform for Ethiopian diaspora artists to present their work outside Africa. Ethiopian artist Elias Gebremariam, an internationally renowned multimedia artist, has designed the museum's walls with patterns inspired by his own work and those of other artists in Ethiopia, such as the late artist and curator Mebane Kebede. The Zoma Museum aims to promote multidisciplinary contemporary art, promote international exchanges between artists, promote the exchange of ideas and knowledge between Ethiopia and other parts of the world, and promote cooperation and collaboration between local and international artists.
The programme was eventually extended to other Free Art Felega shows outside Ethiopia, which were supported by the Goethe Institute in Addis Ababa. During my visit, I was fascinated by the vibrant art scene in this country and decided to join the efforts of those who are trying to make a mark in Ethiopian cultural life. I brought a group of young artists with me, many of whom had received their artistic training in Ethiopia and Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. Although the foundations of modern educational institutions had been moved from northern Ethiopia to addis abababa in less than a century, so did the founding of the Zoma Museum, the first of its kind in Africa.
The gallery is the Gallery of African Art and the exhibition is part of the ongoing program of the birth of Addis Ababa art.
We can also show works by artists from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria and South Sudan.
What interests me most about modern art is the fact that we devote a lot of time and attention to the works of artists from Ethiopia and Eritrea. Ethiopia's political space, following the historical development of its political spaces, encompasses the production of what is now Eritrean art, but cannot be considered more comprehensive of Eritrean contemporary art. This statement could be more precise than in the case of Ethiopia, where the political, economic, and cultural history of that country and its people has influenced the work of a number of Ethiopian painters, including those of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as that of recent years. Our bibliography focuses on art produced by artists in Ethiopian regions, which are now divided into Ethiopia and Eritrea.