Mozambique: The Dialogue Continues

Gallery of African Art (GAFRA), London, United Kingdom
09 Sep 2015 - 03 Oct 2015

Mozambique: The Dialogue Continues

Ilidio Candja Candja, Invictus #8 Mixed media on canvas 2013, courtesy of the Gallery of African Art

The Gallery of African Art (GAFRA) presents an exhibition of contemporary paintings and photography from Mozambique, featuring works by Ilidio Candja Candja and Sergio Santimano.

Mozambique: The Dialogue Continues considers the relationship that both of these artists have with their home country Mozambique, which marks 40 years of independence this year. While neither of the participating artists lives in Mozambique, their work still draws upon its origins, with the cultural richness borne of its diverse society.

After independence in 1975, Mozambique entered a new phase in contemporary art, with a shift from art of defiance to art which pays tribute to its past and salutes the present. All of these elements are evident in the themes, subject matter and style of works on display. Mozambique: The Dialogue Continues samples and celebrates some of the rich tapestry of artistic presentations found in the country.

In his paintings, Ilidio Candja Candja draws the audience into a personal exploration of his playful and dynamic energy. Executed in a style resonant with Abstract Expressionism and Action painting, his works are characterised by spontaneous and confident brush strokes. And inspired by his heritage, the riot of colours, personal symbols and African textile prints all serve to infuse his canvases with vibrancy.

Sergio Santimano portrays the daily lives of the average Mozambican through his brilliant photographs. Motivated by the ideas of transformation and shared experiences, his work explores both themes from the perspective of the observer, inviting the audience to position themselves in the spectacular landscape. Terra incógnita, a series of photos taken in Niassa, northern Mozambique, pays homage to his people. Each photograph draws on elements that are familiar to us all – earth, water, air and the beauty of the human spirit.

Sergio Santimano, West of Niassa, 2002 ‘Terra incógnita’ series (Niassa 2001-2005), courtesy of Gallery of African Art

Sergio Santimano, West of Niassa, 2002 ‘Terra incógnita’ series (Niassa 2001-2005), courtesy of Gallery of African Art



Ilidio Candja Candja was born in 1976 in Maputo, Mozambique. He studied at the National School of Visual Arts. Following a number of exhibitions in his home country, Ilidio relocated to Portugal to develop his artistic practice. Ilidio’s paintings are an explosion of colour and energetic brushstrokes resonant with gestural abstraction. His large colourful canvases have a playful quality to them and many of the symbols found in his compositions draw upon his African origins. On the subject of the narrative components in his work, Ilidio says, “the concept is to write with my paintings in order not to forget who I am, where I come from and where I intend to go”. Ilidio has exhibited in his home country, South Africa, the USA and across Europe. He lives and works in Portugal.

Sergio Santimano was born in Lourenço Marques, now Maputo, Mozambique in 1956 and works in documentary and reportage photography. Santimano began his career as a photo- journalist for the newspaper Domingo in 1982. From 1983 to 1988 he worked for the national and international press covering the war, famine and politics for the Mozambican News Agency – AIM. Following the end of the civil war in 1992, Santimano began working as a freelancer documenting the consequences of war and Mozambique’s reconstruction. Sergio Santimano has exhibited extensively in Africa, Europe and India.

Gallery of African Art
Over the past decade, the visibility of African art has been steadily increasing through exhibitions, publications, auctions, and cultural exchange. The Gallery of African Art Ltd (GAFRA) is dedicated to showcasing the best of 20th Century and Contemporary visual art from the African region and its Diaspora. The gallery aims to present established and emerging African artists to new audiences within the global art market.


Opening times: Monday – Friday, 10am-6pm and Saturday, 11am-5pm
Admission: free.
Gallery of African Art (GAFRA),
45 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4JL





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