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Passionate and full-bodied, that is how Kerima Ahmed and Marikokeb Berhanu’s paintings are described by those who follow their work.
The pair had held an exhibition at Lela Gallery that lasted for over two weeks that has been visited by many. The two young female artists showed their work side by side and complimented each other perfectly, observers said.
“In my eyes, art is not bounded by geography or language. My art works are the products of my thoughts, they emerge from inner feelings, from what I see and perceive, or from knowledge gained through life experience. When I start to paint, my initial inspiration might evolve into an altered version of its starting point,” says Kerima when she talks about her work.
“Sometimes the moment itself leads my painting process – beyond the effort to compose the arrangement of colors, lines, textures, and forms. My paintings are like musical compositions or poems; they have their own sounds, melody, and rhythm. They are a visual music with its own coherence and flow,” she says.
On the other hand, Marikokeb Berhanu who received a formal art education at the Addis Ababa University School of Fine Art and Design says she can never explain what her painting mean.
“I don’t think it is possible for me to express in words the vivid arrangement of my images, nor truly succeed in delivering with words to viewers a sense of what I was thinking and feeling in the creation of that work,” she says.
At their group exhibition, both of the young artists showed that they each had their own very different and distinctive style, with Kerima’s pastoral serenity to the layered figures of Marikokeb, very different but still managed to mix in perfect harmony.