Elias Sime: Eye of the Needle, Eye of the Heart
March 27 - June 10, 2012
This large retrospective survey covers twenty years of one of Ethiopia’s most original and prolific artists. Included are over 100 works made from such things as yarn stitches, tattered fabric, buttons, stuffed goat skins, discarded plastic shoes, animal horns, and bottle tops collected from the streets and sprawling markets of Addis Ababa. Sime transforms them into collages and stitched canvases, into floor and wall sculpture, and into installations.
The floor of the galleries will be strewn with small sculptures made of mud and straw called selachas (stuffed goatskin), each encased in the full skin of a single goat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has accepted two selechas for its permanent collection.
According to Peter Clothier in the Huffington Post, “Community is an essential part of his work: family and friends join with him in the creation of his art, and he spreads small wealth and creativity amongst the local children by rewarding them for bringing him the results of their scavenging. He is, in a real and pragmatic sense, a social activist.”