Times of Eswatini

Yebo Art Gallery partners with global marketplac­e


MBABANE – Yebo Art Gallery is a contempora­ry art gallery and design studio establishe­d locally.

It exhibits and aids local artists and has partnered with the world’s largest online art marketplac­e, Artsy.

Artsy is for art collecting. As the leading marketplac­e for art by the world’s emerging and establishe­d artists, they have made it easy for new and experience­d collectors to discover, buy and sell art, which is something that local artists can rejoice from as their artwork will now be marketed on a grand scale. Besides the enormous exposure that local artists will now receive, they will also be in a position to get paid what they actually deserve from their art pieces. “Local artists are as talented as artists from abroad, but locals get paid way less for their work, but through Artsy, all that will change. We have had internatio­nal buyers ask why the artwork that we sell is generally cheaper but of the same quality as artworks that are available everywhere else on the globe,” mentioned Yebo Art Gallery Director, Aleta Armstrong.

Yebo Art Gallery was establishe­d in 2010 by local artists Pete, Aleta and Dane Armstrong. “We are passionate about promoting the arts and enabling the growth of the creative economy by working together with the most talented profession­al and emerging artists in Eswatini. Yebo! has curated 45 exhibition­s in its first decade of operation, working with over 80 artists from Eswatini and the rest of the African continent,” mentioned Aleta. She further mentioned that they collaborat­e with artists on product design, community art projects and creative workshops. Their vision for the next five years is to continue growing the creative sector of Eswatini while focusing on environmen­tal and social issues using art as a tool to address issues like climate change, women’s rights and youth unemployme­nt.

This partnershi­p has already seen a number of local artists exhibit their work on the platform including Khulekani Msweli, Celimphilo Dlamini and Fela Dlamini, just to name a few. One of the mentioned artists, Msweli, has made a reputable name for himself and currently has nine art works on the online platform since the partnershi­p. Msweli explores the space between the ever-present binary of tradition and modernity, creating artwork that is steeped in a commitment to addressing current affairs and pertinent social issues through this lens. Using installati­on, sculpture and photograph­y as mediums, Msweli’s creative process is one that draws from his travels to Europe, the US, Middle East and the African continent, as well as his training in fashion design and innovative material use.

Through depicting elements of Swati traditiona­l ritual, thought and custom,

Msweli re-contextual­ises these practices in a modern sphere, presenting his experience of a culture that lives in tension with the present and the past. When not creating, Msweli directs his design business Jerempaul, his restaurant Vuvulane Food Market and works within his community of Vuvulane to develop youth access and skills. His work has been shown at a number of galleries internatio­nally and in South Africa, and has been part of a variety of creative projects in Eswatini.

 ?? ?? Khulekani Msweli and Yebo Art’s Aleta Armstrong. (INSET) One of Msweli’s 2021 artwork, ‘Fake news’.
Khulekani Msweli and Yebo Art’s Aleta Armstrong. (INSET) One of Msweli’s 2021 artwork, ‘Fake news’.
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