Not an Assignment
Not an Assignment
Serana Angelista, Ziarah Janssen & Kenneth Aidoo
6 Aug – 26 Sep 2021
Hama Gallery is proud to present Not an Assignment: Serana Angelista, Ziarah Janssen and Kenneth Aidoo. A group show free of requirements, conditions or expectations. Given a carte blanche, these three artists express themselves free of any mandate or commissioned framing. Their work projects into the past and into the future, celebrating the artistic imagination with an abundance of messages, vivid colours and painterly as well as digital textures and patterns.
Serana Angelista’s work expands beyond the conventions of graphic design in colourful fractal patterns. The repeating oval is stretched and pinched, pulled into angles or fitted into fine-lined corners, adorning the typeface but elaborating into an image of its own. Serana merges form with content as the contrast between colours and between the delicately rounded edges and sharp arches of the letters mirror the internal contradiction of the combined words.
Ziarah Janssen centres the physicality of her subjects, celebrating the intimacy between women as mother and daughter, as lovers, or as curled up individuals. Their closeness is expressed as kissing impasto mouths or in the melting together of many faces, colours, and limbs folding into embrace – Hugs Forever. Rich colours of paint highlights the regal qualities of Ziarah’s figures, whereas the geometries of their anatomy bring a playful quality to the compositions.
In two series of portraits, Kenneth Aidoo invites the viewer to join him in tribute to his subjects. These range from the venerated Saint Maurice of Egypt to Alessandro de’ Medici – from black icons to figures obscured by selective history writing – rendered by Kenneth in lush oil paint. Dimension, gloss and painterly textures emerge from the generous application of his medium, so that each portrait comes alive with a striking gaze. The second series spotlights the Ghanaian Kente, each textile uniquely woven in gouache on paper by the artist and draped over the shoulders of his subjects.