HABESHA ART STUDIO
In 2001, five young Ethiopian contemporary artists - Dawit Abebe, Girmachew Getnet, Mathias Lulu, Workneh Bezu and Yoseph Lule founded Habesha Art Studio - what is to be their working studio as well as exhibition space. With four distinctive styles, Habesha Studio offers much to behold for art collectors and enthusiasts.
Dawit Abebe’s works are presently part of Saatchi Gallery's Pangaea II: New Art from Africa and Latin America (March to September 2015). Dawit graduated from the Addis Ababa University School of Fine Art and Design with a diploma in painting, sculpture, graphics, photography and industrial design; and has been been a full-time artist in residence at the Habesha Art Studio since 2001. His solo exhibitions include Background 2 at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London (2015), Background 1 at Lela Gallery, Addis Ababa (2014), and X Privacy at the Alliance Ethio-Française, Addis Ababa (2012). Group exhibitions include Concerning The Internal at Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi (2015), Visibles/Invisibles at Fondation Blachere, Apt (2015), the touring Silver Sea Cross-Ship (2013-14) and the display of the Habesha Art Collection at the National Museum in Addis Ababa (2014), as well as exhibitions in France, the UAE and the USA. Dawit’s work continues to gain international recognition. In 2014, one of his works from Abebe's X Privacy series sold for double its estimate at a major auction of East African art in Nairobi, Kenya.
Girmachew Getnet, graduate of the Addis Ababa University Alle School ofFine Arts and Design (2001), enjoys a vast repertoire in both local as well as international art scene - Ethiopia, Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic, USA and Kenya. In 2005, Girmachew was invited by Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz (Germany) to organize the art exhibition Wall and Canvas thatfeatured contemporary and traditional wall paintings from Ethiopia. In 2007, Girmachew was involved in the celebrations for the Ethiopian Millennium (2007 corresponded to year 2000 in the Ethiopian calander) by the Grassi Museum, Leipzig (Germany), where he organized the art exhibition and showcased hisexperimental short film Free Space - this short film have been screened in different venues and festivals in Europe and Ethiopia. Today, the artist lives and works in his own studio in Germany.
Workneh Bezu was destined to follow his passion for art and enrolled at the prestigious Addis Ababa University School of Fine Art and Design, where he says, he was privileged to study under and be mentored by some of the masters of Ethiopian painting and sculptor. For Workneh, art quickly became his life, a medium through which he was able to channel his passion and dreams. Receiving formal training gave Workneh the techniques and academic skills he needed to bring his dreams to reality. Workneh experiments with different artistic forms and has become one of the pioneers of children’s puppet and short animation films in Ethiopia. Included in his creations are rug puppets, paintings in oil and watercolors, sculptures and graphics art. Workeneh has shown his works in more than 20 exhibitions in Ethiopia and internationally. (You can browse and shop Workneh's work here).
Yosef Lule graduated from Addis Ababa University of Fine Arts School in 2001. Images of clothes laid out to dry on the hills surrounding Addis Ababa have that he encounters on his walks has been sources of inspiration and subjects of many of his works - rich in color, often greens and yellows, with vertical lines defining women and pastoralists in expansive natural settings and celebrating all seasons. His travels to Egypt, Zanzibar, Spain and France has also left impressions on his creativity and found their way onto his oil on canvas paintings. Yosef’s artworks, originally figurative, have become more and more abstract in recent years.
Matias Lulu is also a fellow graduate of the Addis Ababa University School of Fine Arts and Design (2001). Mathias translates his perception and feelings about life into shape and form through his daily discipline of painting. He first began with a figurative approach to painting but has since moved onto a more self-expressive and bolder mode of working. His inspirations come from his internal feelings and concerns for the human life. Matias believes that any life is composed of the four elements: water, earth, wind and fire, and makes sure that such components are reflected in his works. Tragically, Matias Lulu passed away in 2013 after suffering from a brain hemorrhage. He has always said, “Art is medicine. For me painting is therapeutic. It is a form of meditation. I lose my sense of direction if I don’t paint. Painting transports me to a different world. Your painting represents you and at times people discuss your work in your absence which makes you in a way still present while physically absent, that is, allowing you to be in two different places at the same time”. His presence and great talent is gravely missed by his Habesha Studio fellow artists and colleagues.
Location: Queen Elizabeth Street, in front of Ras Amba hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Tel: