1-54 Studio Visits
with Tuli Mekondjo

Namibian artist Tuli Mekondjo, represented by South African gallery Guns & Rain, invited 1-54 to her studio located in Windhoek, Namibia.

Self-taught artist Tuli Mekondjo works with mixed media (embroidery, collage, paint, resin and mahangu grain – a Namibian food staple) and extends these textured media into performance. Drawing on photographic archives and histories of the loss and erasure of Namibian cultural practices, she explores history and identity politics through the lens of those who lived in exile during Namibia’s independence war.

Tuli Mekondjo, Edalo la Ngalangobe (The birth of Ngalangobe), 2020, Mixed media on Canvas (photo transfer, collage, acrylic, millet grain and resin on canvas), 118 x 88,3 x cm, Courtesy of Guns & Rain.

Mekondjo pays homage to her forebears: in this series specifically to her uncle Ngalangobe (meaning ‘buffalo’), who died during the war, and to her grandmother who raised and buried him. “The joys and labour of her hands and her sorrows were all imprinted on the palms of her hands, they had traces of loss and of letting go.”

Mekondjo was a participant in the Future Africa Visions in Time exhibition, a 2018 collaboration between the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies, Iwalewahaus Bayreuth and the Goethe-Institut Namibia. She exhibited with the NJE Collective at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2019, the FNB Joburg Art Fair 2018, and Art Market Budapest 2016. In 2019, she exhibited in the women’s show “Suffrage” at Guns & Rain, at the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair London, and had a solo show with the Project Room in Windhoek.

More on Guns and Rain’s website.

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