In Conversation: Tesfaye Urgessa & Kami Gahiga

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In Conversation: Tesfaye Urgessa & Kami Gahiga
Artist with a hammer. Courtesy of Saatchi-Yates and the artist


Can art transcend borders? And what does assimilation, integration or multiculturalism mean for artistic encounters and creations?

Join us live at the gallery as artist Tesfaye Urgessa and art advisor/curator Kami Gahiga discuss and illuminate themes of migration, belonging and diaspora as part of the Stand-Ins Figurative Painting from the Collection exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection.

People have always migrated. Over the centuries, they have moved for many different reasons; economic, political, cultural, religious, and environmental. But, most of the time, events beyond people's control, like war or natural disaster, leave them displaced and forced to migrate.

For many artists, these migrations and those of their ancestors shape their identities and the art they produce.

As people move, they bring their traditions, knowledge, and beliefs with them. Often, as much as they absorb the culture of their new home, they influence it with their practices. This process is often a complex dialogue as identities are something unfixed and genuinely a challenge to define.

Tesfaye Urgessa
Born in Ethiopia in 1983, Tesfaye Urgessa was raised in Addis Ababa. He studied at the Alle School of Fine Arts in Addis Ababa before moving to Germany in 2009 with a scholarship to continue his art studies at the Staatlichen Akademie der Bildende Kunst in Stuttgart, where he was awarded the academy's prize in his final year. Fragmented and unsettling figures with disorienting wide-open eyes are the focal point of his compositions. Urgessa's body of work is filled with rich layers of meanings that address various themes and concerns deeply influenced by art historical references and his own personal experience.

Kami Gahiga
A UK-based art advisor and curator. Kami Gahiga is the recipient of a First-class Master's degree from the Sotheby's Institute of Art in London; a Bachelor's degree with Distinction from the University of Toronto, Canada, where she pursued a Political Science degree with an emphasis on African relations and international affairs. Gahiga's recent curated exhibition at Fabienne Levy Gallery, "Colours of my Dream," received international and Swiss press recognition. In addition, some of the artworks presented in the show joined notable institutions (i.e. the Credit Suisse art collection).

This event is FREE, booking recommended.