‘Stranger To Lines II’(2020) is a colossal installation of ten oversized coffins made from reclaimed wood by Ghanaian sculptor Ibrahim Mahama, who created the series to encourage a dialogue about commodity, migration, globalisation and economic exchange. It is this giant piece that was the ‘seed’ around which the curators built Seeds of the Fig, a sculptural exhibition at the Krone X WHATIFTHEWORLD gallery at Twee Jonge Gezellen estate in the Western Cape Winelands town of Tulbagh.
Mahama is one of 24 African artists, both established and up-and-coming, whose works are on display at the Krone X WHATIFTHEWORLD gallery at Twee Jonge Gezellen, an easy 90-minute trip from Cape Town. In a vast display of African creativity, the gallery and the surrounding landscape have been installed with the artists’ works, encouraging visitors to walk from piece to piece.
Mahama is renowned for his monumental installations. His ‘Stranger To Lines II’, a rumination on life and labour, was set to feature at the inaugural Stellenbosch Triennale of 2020, but the show was cancelled due to the spread of Covid 19. Curators Heinrich Groenewald and Shona van der Merwe of RESERVOIR felt ‘haunted’ by the piece until they were able to resurface it for Seeds of the Fig, which comes to a close at the end of March.
With a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Painting and a Master’s in Painting and Sculpture from the Kwane Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2013), Mahama quickly garnered international attention, presenting at solo exhibitions in the USA, UK and Ireland before becoming the youngest artist to feature in the Ghana Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale. In 2020, he was awarded the prestigious Principal Prince Claus Laureate in recognition of his cultural impact on Ghanaian society.
Another renowned African artist, Rwanda-born Serge Alain Nitegeka, shows his smaller-scale ‘Liminal Cargo II and III’(2022) sculptures, which stand in stark contrast to Mahama’s massive pieces, yet address similarly profound topics. In these works, Nitegeka visually articulates highly charged emotional and political spaces, exploring black as a material concern, phenomenon and philosophy. The Johannesburg-based artist works in both painting and sculpture, focusing particularly on monochromatic colour palettes and geometric shapes. He produces abstract works that explore the physicality of migration, culture and political borders through three-dimensional space, often drawing on his own personal experiences with forced migration – he fled Rwanda during the civil war and lived as a refugee before settling in South Africa and working towards citizenship.
In addition to exhibiting across the world in cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, Amsterdam, New York, Georgia, Paris and Dakar, Nitegeka is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Robert Hodgins Prize at Wits University, the Tollman Award for the Visual Arts, a grant from the Barnett and Annalee Newman Foundation, the Villa Extraordinary Award for Sculpture, and the Fondation Jean-Paul Blachère prize. Contemporary art lovers in Cape Town and surrounding areas are invited to seize the last opportunity to see the works of these renowned artists in person.
Date: Closes 31 March 2023
Venue: Twee Jonge Gezellen wine estate, Twee Jonge Gezellen Estate Road, Tulbagh
Viewing hours: Monday to Saturday, 10h00 – 16h00