CELEBRATING AFRICA MONTH
The Melrose Gallery
We are pleased to announce two exciting exhibitions in celebration of Africa month. Sfiso Ka-Mkame’s ‘Homage to Africa’ and Hussein Salim’s ‘Garden of Carnal Delight’.
SFISO KA-MKAME’S – Homage to Africa
Sfiso Ka-Mkame’s solo ‘Homage to Africa’ will go live on a viewing room on our website on Freedom Day on 27 April and will run until 30 May 2021.
This exhibition recognises some of the many challenges facing the Continent of Africa but above all celebrates the many beautiful things about our Continent and her people. It expresses a desire for peace for the Continent so that we can focus our energy on the joy of life.
Sfiso’s passion for African jazz, dance, his heritage, African spirituality, African textile design, family, the community, African royalty, the Dahomey Amazon Women who fought to protect their communities in several countries in Africa and the power of resistance against injustice are all explored in terms of the presented works.
The exhibition also explores the darker side of Africa such as Xenophobia, HIV and the struggle for social, political and economic freedom for South Africa and the Continent at large.
Sfiso was born in Durban in 1963. He studied art in the 80’s and gained recognition in 1988 when his series of artworks titled ‘’Letters to God’’ was acquired by the South African National Gallery in Cape Town.
He was active in the United Democratic Front and his early work reflected the political conflict, daily struggles, and hardships that he witnessed during the height of Apartheid. The artwork titled ‘’Letters from Home’’ that forms part of this exhibition is reminiscent of his hard hitting works from this period and speaks to Xenophobia, the act of ‘necklacing’ or burning of people, and the poverty and injustices that the majority of our population experience in their daily lives whilst living in informal settlements and urban townships.
His work has a decorative, stylized feel, which he creates by applying dense layers of colour with oil pastels and then scratching into the pastel to reveal images, symbols and designs which are reminiscent of African textile.
HUSSEIN SALIM’S – Garden of Carnal Delights
“My past and present are marred with memories of loss, isolation, migration, exile and forgotten heritage”.
Hussein was born in the Sudan in 1966 and personally experienced the conflict of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Following his artistic training at the Khartoum University, he settled in South Africa and attained his Master’s degree in art at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.
His rich, impasto paintings are a product of a rich Sudanese heritage, formal art education, exile and diasporic experience that encourages dialogue around issues of pertinence to Mankind and our daily existence whilst mindful of his dual African and Islamic identity.
For Hussein, art not only evokes memories and contemplation of the loss of home, but it also encounters the present and shapes the future and he regularly returns to themes of time, birth, love, and death.
His artworks are often described as landscapes, but not realistic in nature, layered with figures and symbols both ancient and yet contemporary that invite the viewer to engage with their hidden meaning.
A feeling of nostalgia permeates his works, brought about by a sense of displacement and longing to return to his country of birth. The works have a sense of tranquillity about them that is transferred to the viewer.
‘The Garden of Carnal Delights’, the title of the exhibition, represents the marriage of the world, and the manifestation of thought all bound to the circle of life. His painting by the same name depicts the love child of the world and thought, the twins named consciousness and existence representing the void which is the absence of idea, its birth, and its death.
“The journey that I took (and I still am on) has shown me what I truly want. Not more of life, but more from life.”