Art enthusiasts have the opportunity to witness a memorable showcase of creative minds as the 2022 Absa L’Atelier Ambassadors come together for a unique exhibition entitled “Woven Sensibilities.” The exhibition opened at the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg on Thursday, 02 November.
This collaborative showcase explores the intricate and geographical differences that define the artistry of three young contemporary African artists.
Each artist explores their memories, personal journeys, and incorporates found objects in their art. These objects could be patterns from their childhood homes, Adire Eleko’s textiles from Nigeria, or intricate silk-screen designs on denim. Their artwork combines human life and technology, creating a unique perspective on existence and connecting with their audience in a captivating way.
Taofeek Badru, hailing from Nigeria, explores the semiotic language of Adire Eleko’s cloth patterns. His art challenges stereotypes, confronts bias, and offers insights into successful life approaches. Badru’s mastery of fabric and form allows him to tell transformative stories that transcend cultural boundaries, captivating viewers with his storytelling prowess. His art has been showcased in local and international exhibitions, including the recent Textile Biennale “IMAGE OF POWER” in the Netherlands, a two-man exhibition in Lagos, Nigeria.
Chelsea Selvan, a South African artist, delves into the fugitive nature of memory. Her seemingly abstract work offers a glimpse into the echoes of architectural spaces that have left indelible imprints on her mental and emotional fabric. Chelsea’s art engages tangible objects and intangible feelings, painting a vivid lexicon of stacked prints that provoke deep reflection. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts degree with distinction from the University of the Witwatersrand and currently heads the Editorial and Marketing Department for Latitudes Online.
Gandor Collins, a Ghanaian contemporary artist raised in the Ivory Coast, presents a powerful fusion of brush strokes, patterns, and layered colours that blur the boundaries between humans and machines. His work seamlessly combines the ultramodern with the archaic, producing timeless art that transcends the limits of age, gender, and origin.
“I’m greatly impressed by the artwork of these three young artists, which demonstrates how art can cross cultural boundaries. These Ambassadors have created art that reflects our shared human experiences, celebrating diversity and unity,” says Dr Paul Bayliss Senior Specialist Art Curator at Absa Group. “‘Woven Sensibilities’ demonstrates the incredible potential of unity on the African continent, showcasing the remarkable achievements that can be realised when we work together.”
“The Absa L’Atelier places a strong emphasis on supporting artists in their brand development and offers them a distinctive platform to establish themselves in the visual arts. This initiative equips artists with the necessary skills to flourish as adaptable creators in a dynamic world. Art from various corners of the African continent captures its diverse life experiences, and we take pride in partnering with these artists to foster their careers and storytelling endeavours,” adds Dr Samuel Isaacs, President of the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA).
‘Woven Sensibilities’ welcomes viewers to explore the rich and cohesive artworks of three distinct artists. Despite their unique styles, their pieces come together to create a unified narrative, offering a captivating and harmonious experience for art enthusiasts.