Addis Fine Arte, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 14 Sep 2020 - 21 Nov 2020
Selome Muleta, Tsédal XIII, 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 100 cm
Selome Muleta (b. 1992) is quickly becoming one of the most exciting artists to emerge from the Ethiopian visual arts scene. Her latest work, a series of figurative portraits, is a continuation of Selome’s thematic interest in the lives of women behind closed doors. Selome uses these female figures as an entry point into a wider investigation into nature; thereby positing femininity as an essential element of the natural world.
In her latest body of work Selome’s subjects are amplified, taking up more space in the rooms they occupy, dominating the canvases which are sparsely decorated with objects. Those few objects inside the room – her chair, plants, frames on the walls – are all building blocks which create her abode. In their own way each of these inanimate objects are all tangible evidence of life.
The very concept of womanhood is under investigation in Selome’s latest work, both as an idea and as a lived reality. In these paintings the performance of womanhood is more calm and subtle in relation to her previous works. She has taken her real-life experiences, and the experiences of other women in her life, and presented them inside this fictionalised home. We are invited into these women’s lives, the subjects seemingly unaware of our presence, occasionally performative but never self-conscious. These women exist in a spectrum in which they are at home at ease and unobserved; and yet, they are intentionally altering themselves for an invisible audience.
Selome Muleta (b. 1992) was educated at Abyssinia Fine Art School (2012) and Entoto Polytechnic College (2013-2014). She has had solo exhibitions at Guramayne Art Center, Fendika Art Gallery and Alliance Ethio-Francaise (2019).