Welcome to our first Ethiopian artist feature! Each artist has donated their artwork for our Threadless Shop. This generosity is so important for our mission, and it brings beautiful and original Ethiopian art into your home in a unique and fun way! Visit our shop on Threadless to view (and buy!) this amazing artist’s artwork!
Roots Ethiopia is excited to highlight our first Ethiopian artist: Sewasew Meaza
Before starting her current work as an art teacher, Sewasew Meaza was employed as the Director of Cultural Arts at the Ethiopia Cultural Institute for almost 20 years. Prior to that, she graduated from the School of Art in Chicago in 1987. Sewasew’s primary style is dendritic, which means “having a branched form resembling a tree.” She says: “We are part of Earth with diverse culture, different ways of living and thinking while still connected by a web of energy to one another and everything else.”
Get to know Sewasew:
Q: Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as an artist?
A*: “Among my other studies I found myself drawn to my roots of Ethiopian heritage and traveled to Ethiopia few times to research the beauty of ancient scripts dating back to 200 B. C. Inspired by the ancient knowledge in the monasteries of Ethiopia, I started to create figurative drawings characterized by geometric designs based on talismans and Geez alphabets. In my research I found out that Talismans have an intuitive appeal that is this; they are connected with what is hidden. The Ethiopians call this concept “strong medicine.”
Tsehai Sweatshirt and Tsehai Pillow
Q: Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
A: “Using acrylics, I choose synchronous colors according to the subject matter. Contacting and separating two or more wet painted canvases leaves beautiful images, forms appear, and starts the imagination. These techniques lead me to create dendritic style.”
Q: What visual references do you draw upon in your work?
A: “I draw from my instantaneous inspiration. My work can feel unique because my visual imagination comes from personal interests like meditation and nature camps.”
Q: What does your work aim to say?
A: “We are part of Earth with diverse culture, different ways of living and thinking while still connected by a web of energy to one another and everything else.”
Q: What inspires you? What connection do you have to your art?
A: “My arts are guided by the voice of my consciousness. My life experience has shown me that nature is beautiful and perfect. Art is an enriching experience it is a big part of me.”
Q: What are your feelings about your art helping to educate children in Ethiopia?
A: “I hope my art inspires children to recognize their internal strength towards their community and to be a free-thinkers.”
Q: Where can people find your work for sale today?
* Responses edited briefly for clarity.