<strong>Gosette Lubondo</strong>,
<em>Dernière célébration</em> (detail), 2022.<br>
Pigment inkjet on Hahnemühle Fine art Baryta 325gms paper, 58 x 100 cm,
Edition of 7.
<strong>Matheus Marques Abu</strong>,
<em>O oceano oferece um reflexo mais íntimo de quem somos do que qualquer espelho<br>(The ocean offers a more intimate reflection of who we are than any mirror)</em> (detail), 2024.<br>
Acrylic on canvas, 150 x 150 cm.



<strong>Theresa Weber</strong>,
<em>Stream Of Consciousness</em> (detail), 2024.<br>Silicone, foam clay, acrylic paste, varnish, beads, acrylic nails, mosaic stones, on wood board,
200 x 160 cm.




<strong>Zana Masombuka</strong>,
<em>2009: Namba S'khanbe III</em> (detail), 2019.<br>Giclée print on Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta 325 gsm paper,<br>
84 x 56 cm.

EMERGENT ENERGIES

30 May – 29 June 2024
Matheus Marques Abu, O oceano oferece um reflexo mais íntimo de quem somos do que qualquer espelho (The ocean offers a more intimate reflection of who we are than any mirror), 2024.
Acrylic on canvas. 150 x 150 cm.
Theresa Weber, Stream Of Consciousness, 2024.
Silicone, foam clay, acrylic paste, varnish, beads, acrylic nails, mosaic stones on wood board, 200 x 160 cm.

October Gallery, London draws together a group of exciting, new artists who are beginning to make their presence felt on the international arts scene. Emergent Energies presents a selection of innovative artwork by: Theresa Weber, Matheus Marques Abu, Dafe Oboro, Gosette Lubondo, Eyasu Telayneh and Zana Masombuka. Comprising photographic works, paintings and sculpture, the exhibition highlights the dynamic range and vitality that each of these young artists brings to their work.

Theresa Weber's multi-media installations are an absorbing blend of cultural, historical and mythological references that reflect her conceptual approach to the ever-changing nexus of identity. Influenced by the writings of the Caribbean postcolonial theorist and poet, Édouard Glissant, she examines the complexities of cultural reinvention using motifs borrowed from nature. Her practice blurs the boundary between sculpture and performance – as evidenced by Woven Bodies, a hanging, wearable sculpture made from knotted and woven nylon cloth adorned with found objects. Moving between opacity and transparency, her choices of material suggest both resilience and nuanced fragility while weaving a rich web of intersectional storytelling. Weber’s first site-specific, public commission, Cycles of Unmasking, was displayed at Somerset House, in 2023, and her first museum solo show will open in Germany, at the Kunstmuseum Bochum, this June.

The paintings of Matheus Marques Abu are influenced by his ancestry, spirituality and the daily lives of those of the African diaspora in Brazil. Focusing on the Atlantic Ocean as a site of memory, Marques Abu explores the interwoven colonial and Afro-Atlantic histories, by placing the sea, nature and the Ghanaian Adinkra ideograms as central figures within his work. Drawn to the Adinkrasymbol, Sankofa, represented as a bird andtranslated as ‘go back and pick up’, Marques Abu sets white birds wheeling between youthful figures, iron railings and native plants afloat in a wash of green, white and blue brushstrokes. These elements form connecting links to the past while offering new pathways of interpretation for the future. Marques Abu’s expert manipulation of multiple narratives draws the viewer into a nostalgic realm where powerful dialogues between past, present and future become possible.   

Working mainly in photography and film allows artist Dafe Oboro to explore a multifaceted approach to storytelling. Drawing upon fashion motifs and popular culture, Oboro uses sound and imagery to contemplate questions of masculinity, movement across time and space and the socio-political state of contemporary Nigeria. Oboro aims to destabilize the often-reductive representation of Africa in mainstream media to provide a more nuanced engagement with cultural realities. In the outstanding series Pour me Water, Pure Water, Oboro’s revelatory imagery frames moments of locals bathing on the streets after a long day’s work. These dynamic images of the everyday ritual of bathing underscore the essential privilege of access to running water. In 2022-23, Oboro was the winner of the Access ART X Prize by Art X Lagos, following which the artist completed a three-month residency at Gasworks, London.

Emergent Energies includes photographic works by Gosette Lubondo, a rising star of contemporary African photography. Lubondo’s contemplative photographs explore memory, time and heritage. Her work is influenced by her great-uncle and her father, both renowned Congolese photographers. In her series Imaginary Trip and Land of Milk, Land of Honey, Lubondo shoots in old, abandoned buildings. In so doing, she reveals how these time-haunted places still retain vivid auras of the past. By repeatedly layering contemporary characters, including herself, within her scenes, Lubondo re-animates these emptied spaces and plays with the plasticity of time. Her composite creations shed light on the inner ‘soul’ of her selected sites, emphasising the disorienting discontinuities brought about by rapid changes in Congolese society. Here, where the mysterious past informs the present tense, Lubondo rekindles memories that invite the viewer to imagine new journeys while experiencing the emotions these atmospheric spaces evoke.

Artist Eysau Telayneh creates captivating abstract paintings filled with his reflections on contemporary life in the vibrant cultural hub of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. By keenly observing his local environment, Telayneh uncovers behavioural patterns and rhythms which he transposes onto his canvases, remarking that this source of inspiration means he never stops absorbing visual stimuli. His passion for mathematics and physics adds further impetus to the colours and textures appearing in these paintings, which balance gestural strokes with geometric lines and forms to create dynamic compositions. Through the layered application of vibrant hues, Telayneh examines how colours articulate different emotions and interpretations across various cultures. Telayneh’s paintings reveal his fascination with colour as an inner expression of the exterior world, stating ‘creating art, for me, is about expressing colour.’

Lastly, photographic works by Zana Masombuka - a.k.a. ‘Ndebele Superhero’ - a South African visual artist will be shown. Drawing inspiration from her upbringing in the small town of Siyabuswa, in rural KwaNdebele. Masombuka references Ali A. Mazrui’s statement that Africans need to interpret their history themselves and seek to re-invent Africa on their own terms. In her series entitled, 2009: Namba S’khambe, she explores the politics of a ‘seat at the table’ and how capitalism and inequity inform the dynamics of engagement for all institutional paradigms. The visual tones in the photographs are inspired by the YInMn blue colour, serendipitously discovered in 2009, by which Masombuka comments on power associations using the colour. Set against these layers, Masombuka uses Ndebele symbols of rebirth – the cutting of hair – to symbolise the preparation of the subject’s movement into an unknown space of existence, leaving behind projected ideas of what is, what is not, and, just as importantly, whatever lies in-between.  

OCTOBER GALLERY ARTISTS