Born in Ethiopia in 1970, lives and works in Addis Ababa.

I create art for two reasons. One is that I enjoy the process of making art. The other is that I have an unquenchable urge to express my feelings, thoughts, beliefs, life experiences, and my understanding of my place within the world. Art enables me to do this. The driving forces behind my work are a continuous search for knowledge and a desire to explore different means of artistic expression. Recurring themes in my paintings are searching for light, seeking knowledge and truth, transformation, and ascent, as well as the inspiration I receive from music. When I experiment with other art forms - such as installation and mixed media - I discover new meanings in the materials I use, which lead me towards new insights into my own creative process and the world around me. In this sense, my artistic goal is to keep flowing like a river that picks up sediment, continuously incorporating new life as it moves and changes.

Boundaries Bound is about constraints, particularly those imposed on Africans, which prevent us from travelling and exploring the world freely. Here the oil paint tubes symbolise human bodies – they are smashed on barbed wire and nailed to canvas, and they speak of the human suffering that can be caused by man-made limitations. The international media is full of stories about the suffering of Ethiopians, and of Africans in general, caused by our attempts to cross borders. African artists who desire to show their work to an international audience face great difficulties getting sponsorship and visas to do so.

Even after obtaining the necessary funds and permission, we still face interrogation and mistreatment when we travel. I believe that the people of the world should have freedom of movement and should be free from the prejudices, greed, and political aspirations that keep us tied down.

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