Pangaea: new art from Africa and Latin America was held at Saatchi from 2nd April to 2nd November 2014. The African and Latin American theme was stunning, and appealed on both emotional and conceptual levels, as many paintings dealt with war, suffering and religious conflicts.
The sculpture “Casa Tomada” by Columbian artist Rafael Gómezbarros was outstanding. The artist had used resin, cotton, rope and Cerrejon coal to make the giant ant structures which are each constructed from two casts of human skull. I enjoyed standing amongst the ants, and feeling for once that nature seemingly dominated us, rather than our attempts to have it the other way around. Ants, with the associations to working hard and a complex social organisation, are a powerful symbol for an artist making social or political commentary.
Another favourite and thought-provoking series was “Habitats a Loyer Moderes” by Boris Nzebo. This artist from Gabon, who works in Cameroon, draws upon the hairstyles popular with men and women from the town of Douala, layering these upon architectural features. I felt that this drew together the disparate elements of humans and the spaces we occupy.
At anytime, if you’re visiting London to see the galleries, consider staying at the Putney B&B where your host Sara is very well informed about the London art world. Sara recommended that we visit the Pangaea exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, and I’m so glad she did.