Artist Talk: Wendimagegn Belete

Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery presents a conversation between Ethiopian artist Wendimagegn Belete and curator Christine Eyene about the artist’s solo exhibition in London entitled Moment – አንዳፍታ – Andafta.

Stitching together fragments from historic and contemporary Ethiopian culture, Wendimagegn Belete creates vibrant, textural collage paintings that explore the concept of epigenetic inheritance, of memories that transfer over generations and permeate our present. In this exhibition, Belete presents a dynamic new body of work entitled አንዳፍታ (an Amharic word translated into English as ‘moment’) that fuses together artistic mediums, historic materials, and personal and collective experiences into a single throbbing pulse. Taking place at Kristin Hjellegjerde’s newest gallery space in Bermondsey, the exhibition also announces the official opening of Melior Place as the gallery’s main location.

Born in Ethiopia and based in Oslo, Belete’s practice focuses on cultural heritage and identity. His process begins with the collection of source materials such as photographs from newspaper articles, letters, recorded conversations and various textiles – most significantly, traditional Ethiopian ceremonial garments, which the artist finds both aesthetically and symbolically interesting with regards to their continued presence in contemporary life. Fragments of these sources are then reassembled and stitched together to create a rich and complex visual landscape infused with the artist’s own personal memories and perspectives. Whilst varying in origin, most of the materials are in some way engaged with Ethiopia’s history, and more specifically, with Italy’s violent, albeit unsuccessful attempts to colonise the country. ‘Most of the time the colonial history has been narrated in a sad way, but I want to colourise it,’ says Belete.

Wendimagegn Belete in conversation with Christine Eyene
Tuesday 17 December 2019 at 7.00 pm

This event is open to all no booking required

The exhibition continues to Friday 20 December

Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery
2 Melior Place
London SE1 3SZ

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