Exhibition by Elizabeth H. Wold

Elizabeth Habte Wold’s engagement with everyday objects and everyday practices in productive ways is aesthetically absorbing as it is intriguing. With the enset plant----a multi-purpose plant whose trunk not only functions as a major form of staple but also used as an everyday purposeful tool-----as the center of Habtewold’s query, the artist negotiates not only new forms of texture and balance but also the encounters between coloniality and de-coloniality, reflecting on the truth of the archive and its ambiguous present.  Her primary objects are the enset and, the matot which is a seat for containers and pots that is made from the trunk, works of crochet, and leaves that are found in her garden. The repetition of identical casts gives the matot a spatial structure giving it a unique vision of a dynamic abstract form. What does this form mean? Does it tell us something apart from what it represents? Indeed, the meaning of modernism is beyond content of any kind. But our modernism is different than the European one. Our modernism bears our own face and story. It is the story of the colonized. It is the hopeful search for the archive that is on the verge of disappearance. It is the location of the dislocated subject. And it is a fight to reclaim what was once ours. Therefore, the artist tells us that the meanings of these objects should be less of the function they provide, and more about the ways in which they present the history of the extinct or the soon to be from collective memory

About Elizabeth H. Wold


Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Elizabeth Habte Wold studied painting at the Alle School of Fine Arts and Design and graduated in 1985. She moved to the USA in 1987 and studied graphic arts in Baltimore City Community Collage. She joined Howard University in Washington, DC, and received MFA in painting in 1993. In 2000, she studied Interactive Multimedia for a year at George Washington University, while she was working as in house designer at the Washington Gas and Light, Washington, DC.

Since 2001, Elizabeth has been living in Addis Ababa and she has been engaged in various artistic interventions. Her works have been exhibited locally and internationally. Her recent works include Africa Rising, the mirror mosaic installation currently displayed at the African Union, and a video documentation of Ethiopian women Artists.