Nwasanti wa matimba a nga heli mongo
In this exhibitin Phillemon returns to the etching press which is his first love and whose arcane and ancient skills he has mastered. These works reprise a theme which is seminal to understanding who he is as a person and thence as an artist.
Raised in a rural African village by a mother who was widowed at a young age, he grew up watching women work so that their families would survive. The unrelenting labour of women is a reality but to Phillemon it is what nurtured his body and his talents. He sees in a women’s labour both love and redemption in their purest sense.
These complex and technically brilliant etchings reflect everyday subjects and make them clear to us. Phillemon makes delicate use of hand-colouring thus emphasizing the femininity of his subjects.
These works have been made with the assistance of master printer Pontsho Sikhosana and her team at the Artist Proof Studio.