Posted by Scott Beagle on
An art exhibition entitled “Meeting Here” is being shown at the German House here in Addis starting from October 29, 2009.Over 70 works of two Ethiopian and two German artists are on view at the show organized by GTZ.
Intended to be as a synthesis of cooperation and linkages between two cultures, the artists Merikokeb Berhanu, Christian Voight, Karin Fiedler and Mulugeta Gebrekidan have come up with works that differ widely in style and presentation, nevertheless sharing a common theme: the impersonality of art that transcends boundary.
One of the participating artists, Merikokeb (whose names in English mean leading star) is a thirty-two-year old young artist who is practicing her trade with her friends in a cooperative gallery called the Nubia Art Studio. She has exhibited on regular basis at places such as the Russian Cultural Institute, Alliance Ethio-Francaise, Italian Cultural Institute, Makush Art Gallery, the National Museum, Bulgarian Embassy, the Hilton Hotel and even in galleries in Sudan and Djibouti.
In this exhibition, Merikokeb has presented around thirteen works, displayed at the first floor of the four-story building. None of her works bear titles yet one of the most frequently recurring images in her works are ripened fruits, blooming flowers and female wombs. The bands and arcs of bold color give the drawings the presence of murals, an area which she has specialized in at art school.
Merikokeb is reluctant to speak about her works, saying that her paintings could speak “more clearly and honestly” themselves than she ever could. “I have never tried to communicate what my paintings mean through words alone, because I believe that they can speak more clearly and honestly themselves than I ever could,” she says.
Yet she says, “The life that we are passing, the complications, the density and the crowd, the thick fog and the smoke, the happiness and the hope entice me and cause the inner section that leads to my art,”
Born in 1977 in Addis Ababa, Merikokeb studied high school at Medhani Alem Comprehensive School and joined the Addis Ababa University Fine Arts and Design School on 1998. Since then, she has been participating in several smaller projects, among other in the monumental art of mosaic at Boston Day Spa from September 2003 to August 2004.
The second floor is dedicated to artist Mulugeta Gebrekidan. He has presented sixteen works; all titled “Seeking” but separated with number variations. Mulugeta is also an interesting young artist who experiments with a canvass with barbered wire.
A graduate of the School of Fine Arts, Mulugeta has been working in stage design, art education, book illustration and costume design along with his artistic work in his studio. “I paint and make art for two reasons. One is that I have to be engaged in creativity and enjoy the process of making art. The other is that I have an unquenchable urge to express my feelings, thoughts, beliefs, the experiences and understanding of nature and my place within it. A continues search for knowledge and constant experimentation for better artist expression have been the driving forces in my art,” he says.
A devotee to the conceptual school of art, Mulugeta strives to achieve statements by manipulating materials along with transferring color in to canvass.
Christian Voight, who is an architect, painter and master of Philosophy, has presented around twenty two works. Though unable to attend the opening ceremony for health reasons, his works that highlight kinetic and luminal style from the last fifteen years and from past exhibitions have drawn attention and admiration from the visitors. Some unpublished works and an outlook for a new exhibition in 2011 together with Ethiopian artists are included.
Karin Fiedler who has presented over more than thirty works was born and grew up in Germany. She works on very colorful textile and silk materials.
She says living in Peru for six years has greatly affected her work by observing the Pre-Columbian culture and the Inka period.
“Rhythm and sound were basic for my temper while creating, sometimes classical music and the outside nature gave me a background to intensify my inspiration and got lost in colors. To me painting is mediation, colors are joy,” says Karin.
The exhibition is scheduled to remain open through December 11.
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