From the 6th of April till the 6th of May 2017, ‘A TWO MAN EXIBITION’ Between EL KAMEL of Tunisia and NEIL WRIGHT of South Africa awaits your roving and interpretative eyes at a glance from La Gare’s exhibition in London, Unit 2 La Gare, 51 Surrey Row, SE1 0BZ.
Think of art as static shapes or some moving design that informs your creative memories in different directions and perspectives.
This time around, some two other international individual art thinkers from the same continent but different regions: the north and the south respectively, welcome you to their artistic domain.
These two icons, in their own artistic rights, have finally decided to hold the movement of art, by the scruff of its revolutionary foundations, in welcoming you to both ends of Africa simultaneously.
So the clutching and biting points of this exhibition is that, they are both telling their stories through similarities and differences that might hold you spellbound.
As with this exhibition, their inspirations come from the occurrences of everyday life within their urban surroundings and their ever evolving cultures.
They both create visual scenes that connect with contemporary life, given their observations and how they feel about it in that artistic instant and moment.
In other words, they combine and recreate these real elements to present chaotic blending scenes that seeks to express the ineffability of how they see the world.
At this exhibition, both Slimen and Neil, neither attempt to suggest solutions to the art viewer or critique, but rather present a simple view with a sense of their take on what ‘Now’ in their space feels like.
This is not an exhibition where paints and brushes are competing and colliding for spaces to draw their sorrows on; it is rather a space where artistic room is given for the imagination of the word art.
The exhibition extends its invitation for the viewer to respond by forming his or her own questions through their individual denotations and connotations.
In responding to the question as to what is really, the highlight of Neil’s masterpiece in this exhibition, he said: “I think my favourite work in this show is the ‘Remains of the day’ as it serves, as the overlap between the sculptures and paintings.”
By rip opening the essence and values of his masterpiece he explains the ideology that lays beneath it “The consumption of the metaphorical 'Eve's apple' exposes us to the darker reality of the artificial paradise we have created for ourselves.”
And in that he said: “‘This 'paradise' is presented to the viewer through the seemingly happy-go-lucky, veiled, flat and slightly abstract paintings which present the jungle of our own making.” as he sums up.
Sharing some of the secrets that underline Slimen El Kamel's signature as an iconic artist, makes one wonder with awe and gratitude, as he said: “First of all, this work is so deeply experimental that the painting itself, becomes questionable.”
“Indeed it is a mixture of many painting backgrounds; drawing, collage. It is, as well, a work that illustrates and summarizes the political, the religious and the sexuality within the same canvas.
“We might find ourselves taken between all these tendencies put together as the same work of art. In other words we can say that we are in front of an ocean of thoughts, illusions, fantasies and improvisation.
“The work goes from the real to be dissolved into a present utopia. A utopia which touches the here and there and the now and then. We find the event with its echo, the shape and its shadow, the ego and the other.
“It is a cosmological meeting between the tragic, the comic, humorous and the critic. And it is an interaction between the intimate and the public.”
Being a curator with an international experience and exposure Mr Christian’s comparisons of his previous exhibitions to his current one, could not be far-fetched as he makes it clear
“This exhibition is very special to me and the gallery. As it is a dialogue between two young artists: one from the North of Africa (Tunisia) and the other from the Southern part of Africa (Johannesburg in South Africa).
“Two young men struggling with an urban life and the challenges for artists to survive in a world full of progresses and violence.” he said.
Alternating between visualization and artistic reasoning, this exhibition is that which arguably stands on its own expressions.
And it does it by giving both the artist and the individual viewer the chance to crack the artistic codes with their individual thoughts and precisions.
Neil Wright raises his 'Remains of the Day' through the prism of some partly eaten apple in juxtaposition to Slimen El Kamel's elevation and reflection of a bare-chested and sky-looking man standing tall in front his environment-and that is 'NOW'.
This is arguably an exhibition that consolidates the artistic ideologies of both the viewer and the artists in nature's encapsulations.
BY WILFRED CLARKE.