SBK Art voucher, art as a present

Tamrat Gezahegne

02/07/2023 - 13/08/2023 @ SBK Galerie 23 Hedendaagse Afrikaanse Kunst KNSM

Tamrat Gezahegne, born in Addis Abeba in 1977, is a renowned artist whose work encompasses various mediums and forms of artistic expression. He obtained a diploma in painting from the Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design, where he honed his skills and developed a deep understanding of the craft.

One of Tamrat’s notable achievements is his role as a founding member of Netsa Art Village, a dynamic hub that played a pivotal role in the thriving contemporary art scene in Ethiopia. Through this platform, Tamrat contributed to the growth and promotion of art in his country, fostering creativity and providing opportunities for emerging artists.

Tamrat’s artistic repertoire spans a wide range of disciplines, including landscape and portrait painting, studio experimentation, installation, and performance. His relentless exploration and dedication to his craft allow him to constantly push boundaries and challenge conventional artistic norms. By venturing into diverse mediums, Tamrat expands his artistic horizons and engages with new ideas and techniques.

In his current artistic journey, Tamrat is particularly focused on researching and incorporating indigenous knowledge into his creative process. This enthusiasm for indigenous wisdom and traditions shapes his artistic meditations and fuels his artistic practice. By delving into the rich cultural heritage of Ethiopia and embracing the wisdom of the past, Tamrat seeks to create art that resonates with the present and contributes to the societal journey.

For Tamrat, the role of an artist is akin to that of an enlightened individual who serves as a conduit for culture, societal knowledge, and the collective aura of a community. He believes that his artistic endeavors have the power to mirror and shape the lives of individuals and society at large. Tamrat aspires for his art to be an integral part of the ongoing journey that society undertakes, facilitating introspection, dialogue, and transformation.

In his most recent exhibition, titled “EXEGESIS” and curated by Sarah Bushra, Tamrat Gezahegne presents a new body of work. The exhibition showcases the raw energy of rapture and turbulence that permeate his art, as he continues to experiment with found objects that hold personal significance. These objects, imbued with stories of survival, wonder, and bewilderment, undergo constant transformations in Tamrat’s practice. Through repetition and reimagining, he breathes new life into these objects, allowing them to exist in multiple forms and contexts.

Tamrat’s studio acts as a portal connecting the realms of reality and imagination, enabling him to explore new possibilities and challenge established world orders. Within this sacred space, he finds safety and freedom to explore uncharted territories of artistic expression. Over time, Tamrat establishes a deep bond with the objects he encounters, transforming them and reinventing their value. Through his art, he seeks to capture the complex relationship between indigenous community practices and the ever-evolving urban landscape of Addis Ababa, highlighting the interplay between tradition and modernity.

Tamrat’s artistic practice embodies the essence of Whitman’s words, “I contain multitudes.” His work explores generative permeability, fluid forms, and poetic connections that underlie his artistic vision. By inviting his audience to engage with intention and mindfulness, Tamrat encourages them to adopt an expansive inner value system that imbues meaning into their sensorial experiences.

Tamrat Gezahegne’s artistic journey is a testament to his unwavering commitment to the arts and his profound belief in the transformative power of creativity. Through his diverse body of work and dedication to indigenous knowledge, he leaves an indelible mark on the contemporary art scene in Ethiopia and beyond.