Africa: Home | Arts & Culture

Netsa Lemma Guya's Vibrant Colors


By Leulseged Worku

ADDIS ABABA - Art is a manifestation of the economic, political, and cultural life of a society. People express their feelings in different artistic forms, but the goal is the same: to reveal the invisible in the visible parts of life.

Netsanet Lemma (pictured above), daughter of well-known Ethiopian painter Dr. Lemma Guya, is one such artist who expresses insights through her gift of painting.

Editor's note: Photo of "Lady Justice" was altered in keeping with the TMP's editorial guidelines for images. This reporter recently visited Lemma`s impressive exhibition in Addis Ababa, which reflects on a gamut of socio-cultural practices. Her works allude to the power of love, the value of freedom, the ugliness of injustice, the suffocation of male-dominated culture and the beauty of women. They shed light on the marriage bed and motherhood, among other themes.

Netsa’s portfolio expounds on culture, including a piece superbly portraying the Father of Forgiveness Nelson Mandela. Her exposure to the Western world has also left its mark on her work, including in her depictions of male-dominated culture, the mother-child attachment, as well as UFOs, which are largely unknown to Africans.

As an African artist, Netsa paints with brighter hues. Asked to describe her style, she terms it “post abstract realism.” She mainly uses shapes, but also colors, line combinations, textures and objects to give character and color to expressions of feelings and thoughts. And she says her signature work consists of bright, bold hues.

According to Netsa, art can be a powerful tool in averting problems and in helping individuals feel better about themselves.

“I hope that all works of mine will have something to communicate with the conscious and subconscious mind of the observer. My goal is simply to create therapeutic, educational, and unforgettable paintings which are intimate, striking and enduring,” Netsa noted.

Netsa says her father’s work has wielded a great influence on her art. In addition, the timeless works of Picasso, Henri Matisse, Vincent Van Gogh also inspire her.

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