Monday, 3 September 2012

Modern African Art

The Saturday just gone was great for culture in Eastbourne and several events were complimenting each other around the town. The Art Expo in Terminus Road had painting, photography, textile art, metal art and ceramics and the Wellbeing Bazaar upstairs at the Enterprise Centre also had art and music (as well as a lot of incense!). Studio 11 at the Old Printworks had their Open Day where I tried my hand, fairly successfully, at monoprinting. I didn't make it as far as the Redoubt Fortress for Rock The Redoubt, but did get to the Underground for their Open Day of music and art celebrating the start of the new Season.

Following the success of the Andrew Voller exhibition at the Underground, three more exhibitions are booked for the Autumn, each lasting for a month. The first of these is a collection of Modern African Art which has been generously loaned to the venue by Jeni King. The works have been created by artists from Togo over the last twenty years and illustrate the differences between traditional and contemporary Africa. Works range from a fairly small painting of musicians by Alphonse Sallah to a large mixed media hessian hanging by Kossi Assou. I liked the layered abstract paintings by Bethel Aniaku - just to the left as you come down the stairs - which utilise recycled materials and, to me, had a structural feel.
Papisco Kudzi

My particular favourite was this painting to the right, by Papisco Kudzi. I found it quite enigmatic as I could not know why the building in the background is shown as faded, or whether the two figures are running or dancing. Kudzi, who now lives in America, was a student of Sokey Edorh, who still lives in Togo. In the top photo, the painting with three figures and a red cross is by Edorh and it is interesting to see the connections between his work and a second of Kudzi's, the lowest in the photo.

Underground Theatre, Fridays & Saturdays 10:00 to 16:00, 31st Aug to 29th Sep.
Also open to patrons during all Underground Theatre events.

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