Ed Cross Fine Art at 1-54 2019, October 3-6 at Somerset House

With Nelly Guambe, Tiffanie Delune, Shiraz Bayjoo and Mário Macilau

This October, Ed Cross Fine Art will celebrate its 10th anniversary at 1-54’s 2019 edition with work from Nelly Guambe, Tiffanie Delune, Mário Macilau and Shiraz Bayjoo. View the exhibition catalogue here, and find us at Stand W2.


Having made her U.K. debut at last year’s 1-54, Nelly Guambe (b. 1987, Chicuque, Mozambique) returns to Somerset House following her receipt of the inaugural Emerging Painting Invitational Prize in Harare, 2019. Guambe will exhibit both paintings and a new body of work on paper; best known for her portraits, the artist’s portrayals of women depict femininity as both shared and specific. What is, and what isn’t, accessible to sight and sensibility. 


Engaging and disrupting a colonial art history, Guambe’s practice seeks to pull archetypes of classical Western painting into settings for black bodies. Pietas and madonne col bambini; nudes, or portraits reminiscent of renaissance patron commissions — Guambe’s subjects gaze beyond their space to implicate onlookers in their uncanny manifestations. At once confronting and delicate, Guambe’s women are charged with expressing  the realities of southern African female experience as well its ambivalences: the artist herself, as well as a collective. 


Painting since 2010, Nelly Guambe joined the Mozambican Artist Association (Nucleo de Arte) after completing a BA in International Relations and Diplomacy in South Africa. In 2017, she cofounded the Deal Creative Space in Maputo, promoting design, entertainment, arts and literature. Recent exhibitions include Inquietude (Restlessness), Nucleo de Arte, Maputo, 2017 and Olhares, Portuges Cultural Institute, Maputo, 2018. Other highlights include works featured at Guns and Rain Gallery, Johannesburg, and Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, both 2018.


Showing with Ed Cross Fine Art for the first time, Tiffanie Delune (b. 1988, Paris, France) will exhibit a selection of her distinctive canvas works and collages at 1-54. Delune’s practice fuses the artist’s personal history with her extraordinary sensibility for design. Shape and colour, rendered in graphic configurations inspired by Matisse cutouts and African textiles, collide with the sharp lines of mid-century and art nouveau European architecture of which her forbears were leading lights. 


Delune’s triple heritages, Belgian, Congolese and French, are recurring threads — explored individually and in concert, made manifest via fearlessly personal expressions echoed in the artist’s  own life. Themes of family, identity, womanhood and sexuality suffuse Delune’s vibrant paintings, and materials employed range from acrylic to pastel; shells to stockings; pencils, to pearls. Recent solo shows include Metamorphosis at Someth1ng Gallery, London, 2019, and Coloriosity at 16/16, Lagos, 2018. Other highlights include work featured in Portraits of Animals at H Factor, and an artist’s residency at 16/16, both Lagos 2018.


Shiraz Bayjoo (b. 1980, Mauritius) will exhibit film and object works from his Ile de France project, recently acquired by Sharjah Art Foundation following his presence at the biennale there earlier this year together with extracts and costumes from his Pran Kouraz film, commissioned by Art Night London, 2019. Working across different mediums, Bayjoo gestures towards materialising narrative by disrupting its conventional arc. Objects are  ventriloquised, settings veer into protagonists, and – within Ile de France’s spectral arena – long-held colonial narratives are countered by the camera’s forensic testimony and quietness.


 Bayjoo’s story-telling objects are not only filmed, but assembled too. A selection of installations, some existent and others created for 1-54, will populate the booth. Reminiscent of archival drawers, palimpsests of old-fashioned maps, miniatures and costume, the artist’s three-dimensional works appropriate a common visual language of power and propriety through another lens. Recent exhibition highlights include Artspace, Sydney, 2019, 14th Biennale  of Sharjah, 2019; Searching for Libertalia, New Art Exchange, Nottingham, 2019; 21st Biennale    of Sydney, 2018.


Mario Macilau, (b. 1984, Maputo, Mozambique) will exhibit photographs from his Faith Series, 2018. Characteristic of Macilau’s process, Faith is the result of a long-term project engaging marginalised peoples – in this case, Macilau’s focus is on animist traditions amongst contemporary Mozambicans. The artist’s depictions of children, workers, passersby and worshippers are at once sensitive and  troubling: stark, and subtle. His black and white photographs capture moments of an everyday life which, for much of its audience, will feel anything but quotidian. Humour and humanity underscore each snapshot. Liminal in its status between documentary and ‘art’ photography, Faith stages the collision of the ancient, the contemporary and the eternal idiosyncrasies inherent in us all. Recent exhibition highlights include Songs of the Present, Musée de la Photographie de Saint Louis, Senegal, 2018; Afrique Capitales, La  Villette, Paris, 2017; Pavilion of the Holy See, 56th Venice Biennale, 2015, and Making Africa, Vitra Museum, Weil am Rhein, 2015.

September 24, 2019