REMEMBER THE DIVINE MOTHER
17 June to 16 July
Restone Maambo navigates his ancestry and experiences with ‘Kusololwa Amumuni’, the call from the ancestors to become a sangoma or spiritual healer, through his artistic practice.
Traditional healers are considered to be the safeguards of tradition and culture and despite his decision to follow his passion for art rather than to become a spiritual healer, this is something that he takes very seriously.
Perhaps it is the innate spirituality that the elders recognised in Maambo at an early age that gives his paintings their unique almost meditative and healing quality that captivates the viewer. Maambo was brought up by his mother and his respect and appreciation of femininity and womanhood stems from this positive relationship and features strongly in his works. He often paints woman in what appears to be a spiritual meditative state and the viewer feels touched to have been included into what is a very intimate and personal moment.
‘Remember the Divine Mother’, Maambo’s much anticipated solo exhibition, continues to explore and celebrate his close relationship with his mother, who has sadly passed, and his respect for woman in general.
In this exhibition, Maambo creates a space that does not isolate but rather highlights the intimacy of the spirit that resides within us all, not by confronting us with an image but by calling us to listen from within. Therefore, the gaze does not build a theory or language but rather a song or a spirit through the body of a woman, the ‘divine mother’ who Maambo calls upon us to remember.
Maambo uses spirituality as his source in which the bodies that come to the forefront exist within the mapping of the landscapes that become the artworks. They all exist within a spiritual experience of self and are personified through their experience of the other being that which they encounter in the physical world. As a metaphor this would be described as holding an emotionally protective space, co-constructed, especially evocative of the relationship between psychoanalysis and maternal care.
In his artworks he explores symbols and subject matter from everyday life, and images inspired from the Old Testament which interact with the sacred traditions and ceremonies of his ancestors creating an inimitable artistic interpretation of his life in Zambia and what lies beyond it.
His paintings are created using acrylic impasto paint, varnish layering, collage and mixed media which are often applied to large canvases.
‘Remember the Divine Mother’ runs from 17 June to 16 July 2021 at The Melrose Gallery (Johannesburg) and on a viewing room on www.themelrosegallery.com This exhibition is the perfect precursor to our exciting Woman’s Month programme in August.