THE GIFT: A celebration of art and life

1 - 29 June 2024
1 - 29 June 2024
Thursday - Saturday, 13h-18h
And by appointment
Leopoldplaats 12 (first floor), Antwerp

From June 1st to June 29th, we invite you to join us in celebrating our gallery’s third anniversary with a new group exhibition “The Gift” - a celebration of creativity and the beauty of life itself. A diverse group of African artists explores the multifaceted meanings of the show’s title. From the gift of motherhood, depicted in Diane Marie Uwase’s gorgeous portrait, which inspired the show’s title, to the inherent gift that artists possess in creating a unique artistic language. 


Beyond the maternal bond, “The Gift” delves into the broader concept of “gift-giving” - from the creative process itself, which artists share with the world, to the intangible gifts of love, friendship, and inspiration that enrich our lives every day. Visitors will encounter a rich variety of artistic expression spanning genres and mediums. Each artwork offers an intimate glimpse into the artist’s soul, inviting you to discover their process of creation.


“The Gift” is not just about the art; it’s about the stories behind it. It’s about the collective experience of humanity, transcending borders, cultures, and expectations, captured in the strokes of a paintbrush or the chisel of a sculptor’s hand. The unfinished surface of a sculpture by Soro Kafana, for example, reminds us of our endless journey of growth, or Beatrice Wanjiku’s evocative painting which blur the line between figuration and abstraction while exploring the human condition. Meanwhile, Mohammed Arrhiou’s delicate works, composed of eggshells, show the essence of human fragility. In their evocative artworks, these brilliant trailblazers lay bare the complexities of the human experience, inviting us to embark on a journey of inner exploration. “The Gift” thus also extends into the realm of personal transformation and self-discovery. Artists like Kadia Doumbouya and Lulama Wolf use their creativity to examine their identity in the light of history, politics, and personal growth. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the artworks in “The Gift” is their ability to transcend the boundaries of language, culture, and ideology, forging connections that unite us in our shared humanity. Through their art, these gifted individuals speak to us in a universal language - one that resonates with the soul, touches the heart, and ignites the imagination.


At the heart of “The Gift” lies a recognition of artist’s innate ability to challenge conventional wisdom and the status quo, pointing out our blind spots and changing our perspectives. Through their creativity, they possess a unique gift - one that allows them to see the world through a different lens, to question conventions, challenge established narratives, and spark conversations that resonate beyond the canvas. It’s Duende Art Projects’ ambition to present artists who harness this gift. Dissatisfied with the dominant narratives about Namibia’s past, Tuli Mekondjo in such a way examines the country’s troubled history in a quest for understanding, healing, and belonging.  Yet, also technically, artists can be ‘gifted’. With their innovative painting styles, self-taught gallery artists such as Sibusiso Ngwazi and Mostaff Muchawaya for example push the boundaries of what paint on canvas can express. 


As we celebrate our gallery’s third anniversary, we invite you to come discover inspiring artworks by Mohammed Arrhioui (Morocco), Tuli Mekondjo (Namibia), Beatrice Wanjiku (Kenya), Soro Kafana (Ivory Coast), Lulama Wolf (South Africa), Kadia Doumbouya (Guinea), Diane Marie Uwase (Rwanda), Lilian Nabulime (Uganda), Sibusiso Ngwazi (South Africa) and Mostaff Muchawaya (Zimbabwe). Marking the talent and diversity of African contemporary art, “The Gift” presents you something new, fresh, inspiring, and unforgettable!