Ukwabuka – Crossing Over – Stary Mwaba

The Artist in Residence, Stary Mwaba, Ukwabuka (Crossing Over) at the InterAmericas space gallery at CCA7, Trinidad.  Mwaba says that most of his references are distinctly African.

A detail of an African woman

Mr. Mwaba’s work begs the question, how does an African artists’ work connect to this part of the world, if at all? On closer observation I noticed some decorative markings throughout his work that reminded me of LeRoy Clarke’s decorative embellishments. Whether Mr. Mwaba knows of Mr. Clarke’s work is unknown, but I was struck by the similarity in the desire to decorate the surfaces of his canvases. This also led me to think of the Afro-British artist Chris Ofili who’s work also has a very detailed, extremely luminous patterning to it. Is it possible that just as the middle passage scattered Africans to the west and created a peoples who added their memories to their new alien landscapes, one can say the same of these aforementioned artists, that an echo of Africa rings true no matter where you may call home.- Adele

Stary Mwaba at CCA7

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