Mandela’s Indelible Mark Infuses Show

Artist Gabrielle Pool both experiences and captures tribal life.

Gallery McCollom hosts a solo show, “Dreamings: Aboriginal-inspired works by Gabrielle Pool,” with an opening 6 p.m. reception for the New Zealand-born artist on Oct. 22, 206 N. Coast Highway.

Pool is emerging as one of Australia’s leading artists and has exhibited in her native country, Japan and Europe.

Her inspiration stems from the traditions of tribal Africa, which she wants to help protect from western influences. Her African love affair recording tribal culture took hold in 2005 as a result of an invitation from Nelson Mandela to travel to Africa as part of his Unity Series.

“When I was younger I painted what I saw – a simple realism that was figurative and, to the casual observer, true. I have since learned that I search for the abstract in the real, and for the real in the abstract,” said Pool, who incorporate sacred tribal body paints in her work. During her time in Kibera, Africa’s largest slum, she taught orphans with AIDS how to paint.

During her stay in Winkyare, a southern Ethiopian Hamer tribe village, Pool immersed herself in a world in which no spoken word was ever exchanged. The resulting soft ink landscapes reflect mirages of Winkyare Village rising from the heat, paintings of Hamer boys taking “moon rides” on the horns of cattle and stark portraits.

Her most recent work to Central Australia reflects time with several indigenous female artists of the Aboriginal tribe, Utopia.



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