Addis Fine Art announces the official launch of its new gallery space with the inaugural exhibition Addis Calling. Addis Calling celebrates the breadth and depth of artistic practice in Ethiopia through the presentation of works by seven contemporary artists who live and work in the capital. The exhibition, a vibrant mix of painting, photography and mixed media, reflects the dynamic artistic activity in Addis Ababa today. The participating artists are, Dawit Abebe, Workneh Bezu, Tamrat Gezahegne, Yosef Lule, Leikun Nahusenay, Emanuel Tegene and Michael Tsegaye.
Addis Calling presents four painters; Dawit Abebe's (b. 1978, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) new series Rank and Providence, explores the relationship between society and those in positions of authority. His work is concerned with the visible imbalances of power in modern life. Yosef Lule (b. 1977, Assela, Ethiopia) explores the impact of urbanization on the traditions, religions, and lifestyles in his home city of Addis Ababa. Tamrat Gezahegne (b. 1977, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) studied under the esteemed Ethiopian artist Mezgebu Tesema and is known for the bold use of colour and the repetition of motifs that define his compositions. Gezahegne's practice also extends to installation and performance art. Emanuel Tegene (b. 1985, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) is regarded as an emerging talent. He started his career as a cartoonist at Saloon Ethiopia. Tegene's practice explores changing cultural dynamics in local society, deeply rooted in his own personal encounters.
Mixed media artist Workneh Bezu (b. 1978, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) draws inspiration for many of his compositions from his own dreams. Figures in Bezu's paintings are often immersed in a supernatural world. Bezu's practice extends to animation film, puppet making and sculpture.
Experimental works in fine art photography complete the group show. Leikun Nahusenay's (b.1982 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) recognition as a fine art photographer is steadily growing. Using double exposure photography, Nahusenay documents the daily life and cultural practices in Jijiga, the capital of the Somali region of Ethiopia. Fine art photographer Michael Tsegaye (b. 1975, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) has an attentive voice in recording and documenting his surroundings. Series such as 'Future Memories' display the artist's grasp of change and shifting topography of the city. Tsegaye's work has been featured in publications such as Snap Judgments: New Directions in African Photography, 2007 and The New York Times.