Recent Work by Blessing Ngobeni and Teresa Kutala Firmino

Recent Work by Blessing Ngobeni and Teresa Kutala Firmino-Omenka Online

Running presently at Everard Read Franschhoek is a joint exhibition of recent works by Blessing Ngobeni and Teresa Kutala Firmino who are the first artists in residence at the new gallery Everard Read at Leeu Estates. The gallery complex houses a cottage and studio for the residency. This exhibition is a result of the residency.

Blessing Ngobeni, the Standard Bank Young Artist of 2020, is known for his distinctive style, created with layers of acrylic washes, exaggerated figures and collage. He was born in the small town of Tzaneen, located in the largely rural Limpopo province of South Africa. Ngobeni moved to the Johannesburg metropolis at a very young age, where he experienced many hardships, from living on the streets to serving time in prison – what he describes as “the usual South African story“. He has since then built an exceptional and unique career in the South African art industry. Bringing with him a unique style and a critique of political regimes, Ngobeni made the corruption, incompetence and duplicity of the current South African ruling elite the subjects of his art. He tackles the disconcerting consequences of betraying democratic ideals, the failure to learn from historical tragedies and the expanding gap between the rich and poor. This critique is informed by Ngobeni’s own experience, the hardships and challenges he had to confront as a child and adolescent.

Teresa Kutala Firmino is a multimedia artist working with paint, photography and performance. The artist’s seemingly playful canvases are rich in symbolism and metaphor and explore the complex issues of history, cultural heritage, identity, and gender.  Her work negotiates trauma, both personal and collective, in her everyday life. Her paintings are constructed scenes of the past and present, which are sometimes intertwined.

The exhibition runs until 19 March 2021.

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