The Bookshelf III, 2021

Unique Artwork

Work in appliquéd and embroidered fabrics
Signed and dated on the reverse

CM H 138 W 126

IN H 54.33 W 49.61

Certificate of authenticity - Signed by artist


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The Bookshelf III, 2021

Using fabric as a symbol of everyday life, Kirubel explores themes related to education, social injustice and the relationship between tradition and modernity, presenting urgent issues relating to contemporary Ethiopian culture.

The artist has exhibited extensively in Ethiopia and abroad, including at the National Museum of Ethiopia, Hawke Center University in South Australia and at the Yarrow Gallery in the UK.

Kirubel Melke Alemu

Kirubel Melke is a visual artist (b. 1983, Addis Ababa) who lives and works in Ethiopia. He holds a diploma in Marketing from the National College in Addis Ababa, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Addis Ababa University.

Inspired by his mother’s work at a garment factory, Melke has focused on fabric as his primary medium, creating elaborate tableaux from fragments of cloth. Since his third year in fine art school, washed clothing hanging from a wire has been a recurring theme for his work. Using cloth as a marker for daily life, Melke explores themes related to education, social injustice and the relationship between tradition and modernity, presenting pressing issues relevant to contemporary Ethiopian culture. Melke has exhibited extensively in Ethiopia and internationally, most notably at The National Museum of Ethiopia, The Hawke Centre at the University of South Australia and The Yarrow Gallery in the UK.

Cloth continues to be a primary source of inspiration for Kirubel Melke’s work. A fragment of cloth metaphorically represents the individual as a fragment of a larger societal fabric. Cultural trends in dressing reveal the roots and current interests of a society, as well as the transition from tradition to a globalized modernity.

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Versant Sud

Versant Sud is an artist's residency whose main mission is to develop artistic and cultural projects in two territories: the Southern region of France and African countries.

The two geographical areas have one thing in common: they are territories marked by the virtual absence of an art market. Artists developing their activity in these two areas face buyers who are still under-represented or buying outside the territory.

To promote these two territories, Versant Sud is deployed on several axes:

The organization of an annual cross-artistic residency program between Marseille (France) and an African capital; coordination of artistic and cultural projects for other structures and/or institutions; design-oriented training workshops for art schools, the proposal for conferences focusing on the African perspective, selling works of art created by the artist in residence. 

The launch season 2018 / 2019 of the artistic residencies is dedicated to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. In October 2019, Versant Sud attended the leading fair dedicated to contemporary African Art - 1.54 Contemporary African Art Fair - in London and presented works from Leikun Nahusenay. 

Versant SUD
1 Place de la Gare de la Blancarde
Marseille, 13004

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Curated by Versant Sud

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