Haunch of Venison

Elias Sime

08 Jun - 15 Aug 2009

© Elias Sime
Meleyo, 2003 - 2004
Buttons on Canvas
162 x 130 cm / 63.83 x 51.22 inches

8 June - 15 August 2009
Mezzanine Gallery

Haunch of Venison London is delighted to announce Tarat-Tarat, an exhibition of installation, painting and sculptural works by Ethiopia's most prolific contemporary artist, Elias Sime.

Tarat-Tarat, meaning story-story, reflects both the artist's retelling of poignant events experienced or observed as well as the integral role of storytelling within Ethiopian culture.

Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Sime studied during the Derg era of Stalinist-style rule within Ethiopia. At the beginning of the current decade, Sime began exhibiting works inspired by his travels throughout rural Ethiopia, and anthropological research of local culture. The resulting exhibitions were subtitled 'Anthropological Contemporary Art Exhibitions', of which Tarat-Tarat presents several examples.

Sime has always experimented with a variety of mediums regardless of their market value. Materials used in the floor pieces include goat skin, traditionally used to store grain or honey, stitched with plastic strings, part of Sime's reaction to the extinction of natural material from our daily use.
The wall pieces exhibited in 'Tarat-Tarat' are a combination of yarn stitches and button stitches sewn on canvas.

The mud and straw figures coming down the stairs of the central atrium of the gallery are a mixture of televisions frogs and monkeys - a whimsical commentary on the modern world and Sime's belief that objects contain the stories of their previous owners.

Elias Sime interprets stories from an imaginative point of view, and his work contains many poetic clues. Where sometimes the physical materials used are the source of inspiration for Sime's compositions, at other times the composition inspires the artist to search for specific materials that will best express his ideas.