Restone Maambo's most recent series of works represents a further deepening of the artist's engagement with his continent of birth, and his deconstruction and recreation of the image of its people.
Restone Maambo's most recent series of works represents a further deepening of the artist's engagement with his continent of birth, and his deconstruction and recreation of the image of its people. In his signature mixed media collage style, Maambo frames a gaze upon the women of Africa that encapsulates the dichotomies of place and identity that have always characterised this part of the world. In layering and reforming images from bits and pieces and brushstrokes, Maambo not only points to the shattering of African cultural primacy through colonisation and oppression, he also illustrates the eternal regenerative capacity of the African spirit.
Created in a vivid palette that riotously combines colour and texture, these works become windows on the boldness and courage of their subjects, who here often turn a direct and penetrating gaze back on the viewer, in contrast to many of Maambo's previous works, where the subject's eyes are often downcast or turned to an unseeable, other view. Here, Africa is looking back and through the veils of dust left by the passing of its colonisers - shaken perhaps, often displaced, but never lost.
While beauty is certainly at the forefront, an unpredictable energy seems to vibrate through each piece, making an encounter with this series an active process, an internal investigation, a conversation between the audience and the portrayed that signifies much broader questions about the globalised African society, the people that comprise it, and its interaction with the rest of the world.