Many of us receive information about the happenings in The Congo through the media. The information is received with the understanding that there is implied bias that often misses nuance and personal impact. The artists – residents of the country or of Congolese backgrounds, gathered in this exhibition – add shape and perspective to the magnitude of the context and lived experiences of the country. Darkness Rising, as a curated group exhibition, along with each individual artists voice, opens the opportunity for different narratives to be heard and to alter current understandings and assumptions.
With Darkness Rising, a conversation takes place, taking on the form of a group exhibition inspired by the tricky balance between the ongoing crises in the Congo and its different aspects of cultural production and expression. Across the work exhibited there is a celebration of creation that illustrates aspects that make up the unique heritage and distinctive aesthetics of the Congo. With work by various artists across different mediums, contemporary creative expressions of the region are shown through distinctive styles, wide ranges of colours, as well as themes passed down from generation to generation that people of the community consider as culturally definitive traits.
The work of Ley Mboramwe and Thonton Kabeya creates a conversation about the journeys they have embarked on, expressed through their work and the dynamics they illustrate through the play of abstraction in figurative images. Ley Mboramwe’s vigorous burst of lines and colours on canvas activate a kind of energy within the room that calls for attention, His participation in group exhibitions, art fairs and solo exhibitions has traced his creative trajectory as he grappled with his memories and experiences of the Congo, his childhood in the country and the landscape he has had to leave behind. He uses his work to reflect on and remain aware of current social and political circumstances, while not forgetting the socio-political influences of the past. Using what’s happening around him as stimuli, Mboramwe creates a sense of emotional drive and connection both personally and conceptually through his paintings. He demonstrates an eagerness to share and command his own narrative through his work...Click to continue reading