Rele Gallery is pleased to present at FNB Art Joburg, a collection of recent paintings by Nigerian artists Sabrina Coleman-Pinheiro and Michael Igwe. In their work, both artists draw from personal experiences in engaging contemporary issues of mental health and social privilege.
Sabrina Coleman-Pinheiro's presented series 'Fragmented Versions of Self' explores the voyeuristic role society plays in its engagement with mental illness. It focuses on the relationship between the observer and the observed, seeking to highlight its fragility and superficiality. The series journeys through the turbulent nature of intrusive thoughts, anxiety and depression, employing perspective in manipulating the space between object and viewer. With this work, Coleman-Pinheiro explores the inner turmoil of being mentally ill in a society that is obsessed with looking without really seeing.
Presenting works from his ‘To Dream Like A Loser’ series, Michael Igwe draws from personal and shared experiences in exploring the futility of dreams in a largely dysfunctional society where the notion of grand goals and ideas is a luxury afforded only to the privileged few. His expressive portraits set against plain, single-colour backgrounds convey soberness and desolation and tell a story of unfulfilled dreams and forced resignation. The works seem to ask ‘What does it mean to dream in a society where the odds are stacked against you?’ ‘To Dream Like A Loser’ aims to question and criticise a history of governmental and institutional shortcomings that places a boundary on imagination.