Eclectica Contemporary | Odyssey
Our journey begins in North Africa. Here artists often work in contexts charged with multiple of constraints. They can easily find themselves in war zones and regions fraught with conflict. These Geographical discords give rise to deeper inner conflicts like a crossroads of tradition or political censorship. As a result North African Artists either have to work in exile or exhibit in foreign countries.
The title Odyssey refers to a long and adventurous pilgrimage home after war, as the ancient Homeric Poem narrates. Our visual excursion begins in Magnetic North where the first documented history in Africa uproots and extends to Southern counterparts. Odyssey explores dislocation, nostalgia and a Romantic longing for past homelands, traditions and fading memories. It resembles an attempt to conjure up the past, document their memories and histories of the motherland.
Egyptian artists of the twentieth century have embraced and rejected European styles with an underlying quest for freedom that sets them apart from their European counterparts. Inspired by a variety of forms, symbols and ideas Morocco has always been a melting pot of cultures, represented in sacred scripture and ancient hieroglyphics. Their history and identity is often linked to nature and territory.
Odyssey seeks a spiritual route, rather than material representation. Artwork can be distinguished by the mystical quality of their sculptures, paintings and drawings of their own respective fields. The symbols of prehistoric writing and engraving evokes a feeling of deja vu, while dreamlike imagery reflects their mystic practices. Use of symbols to celebrate life can be seen in collective use of plants, fruits, trees and adjacent symbols, while bright colors celebrate the cycle of life transcending historical timelines.
Our journey through Africa has highlighted how culture, politics and history of a country influences the psychological mindset of its inhabitants. These influences determine how we perceive the world, ourselves and others. Our aim is to underline the uniqueness and find the common thread that unites the voices of African artist. As creators our perceptions, awareness and imagination of the above often translates in our work, as Hussein Salim states: “I paint for the recognition of the imaginative, the recognition of others and the recognition the humane.
Odyssey begins at in the front space of the gallery and extends to the back where the works at Eclectica Contemporary will be rotating artists from the African diaspora continuously throughout the exhibition.