Art Plugged‘s curator picks highlight artists who have piqued our interest for various reasons. These may include aesthetic appeal, social and cultural significance, or simply because we admire their work; our curator pick in this article is Ethiopian artist Meron Engida Hawke who embodies a tapestry of explorative themes in her practice that is deeply embedded in her homeland and encompasses subjects ranging from identity and sustainable farming to labour dynamics and the multifaceted challenges confronting women in East Africa today.
Curator Picks: Meron Engida Hawke
Hawke’s motivation comes from her sharp understanding of how Ethiopia and Africa are considered worldwide and the narratives that often revolve around famine, climate crises, and conflict.
However, Hawke’s ambition goes beyond these singular stories. She aims to unravel these complex narratives, offering an insider’s view that resists stereotyping and provides a more genuine representation of her homeland. Hawke’s expression manifests across various mediums, including painting, sculpture, and boundary-pushing mixed media, bearing her unique artistic imprint.
Hawke’s work is deeply introspective, drawing heavily from her cultural heritage. She leans into Ethiopia’s religious aesthetics to devise a compelling visual language underscored by a sense of the divine. Her most renowned pieces are marked by her distinctive style of composition, filled with narratives of vulnerability, migration, empowerment, resilience, and the lived experiences of women in East Africa, employing her art as a vehicle for change, traversing the intricate passageways of memory and storytelling.
Hawke’s work presents the viewer with a candid portrayal of her culture, challenging preconceived notions and urging deeper contemplation of Ethiopia’s societal makeup, a terrain frequently referenced but needs to be fully understood. Hawke’s practice illuminates these complexities through her authentic narrative lens.
The curator’s role is crucial in the realms of art curation and collection and in advocating for artists. They are the ones who illuminate the path for artists before anyone recognizes their potential or becomes captivated by their work. Art Plugged’s curator picks highlight artists who have piqued our interest for various reasons. These may include aesthetic appeal, social and cultural significance, or simply because we admire their work.
Read more about Meron Engida Hawke in our interview