[...] Currently having a moment is art that focuses on oppression narratives — often based on the artists’ lived experience. US artist Helina Metaferia’s 2016 video performance piece “Slow Dirt” is an explicit, intimately personal piece that references her Ethiopian heritage, the political advocacy of her parents, and her engagement with the racialisation of identity.
Explicitly honouring ancestry and loss, it’s a piece that’s perfectly configured for today’s avid, race-aware collector. Rakeb Sile, whose gallery Addis Fine Art represents Metaferia, confirms that international interest in her work has dramatically increased as black protest and anti-racist allyship took centre stage in the pandemic. Sile notes, “There’s particular interest in African work that is political, that speaks to activism.” [...]