Owanto, represented by Sakhile&Me, invited 1-54 to her studio and told us about her more recent series.
Owanto’s creative force stems from her belief in the ability of art to transform consciousness. Her work sheds new light on difficult and relevant issues which prevent us from ignoring what takes place around us. Owanto’s concern for social issues has compelled her to campaign for relevant but uncomfortable and often ignored topics.
Her work has been exhibited in numerous international museums and institutions. Some of the most important recent exhibitions are: One Thousand Voices (Zeitz MOCAA, South Africa), Material Insanity (MACAAL, Morocco), One Thousand Voices (MADRE, Italy), Dance with Me (AAF African Artist Foundation, LagosPhoto Festival), Imago Mundi, MADE IN SPAIN (CAC Má?laga and Fondazione Giorgio Cini), Urban Art Málaga MAUS SOHO (CAC Má?laga), Earth Matters: Land and Material in the Arts of Africa (Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and Fowler Museum UCLA), Fifty Years of African Independence (Unesco House , Paris), Gabon, my Land, my Future (Gabon EXPO, Libreville, Gabon), and World Academy (EXPO Milano).
In 2009, Owanto represented the Republic of Gabon at the 53rd Venice Biennale with a solo show entitled The Lighthouse of Memory – Go Nogé mènè, being the very first artist from Central Africa to exhibit solo in a National Pavilion. Through the use of archives and found documents her proposal traces the past to shape the future, honouring the title “Go Nogé mènè” which means “building the future” in her mother tongue. Central to her artistic proposal is the question “Où allons nous?” (Where Are We Going?). A poetic, omnipresent, important, fundamental and universal probe.
More on Owanto’s website.