Restone Maambo’s navigation with his ancestral gift in his art
It is a blessing to be gifted, but it is another thing entirely, something that exceeds a blessing, to use your gift to gift others life. Restone Maambo’s utilization of his gift to place life in the viewer’s hands reflects something. It reflects the importance of gifting as much as you have been gifted. Maambo speaks through his art. He tells us the stories of his conversations and encounters with what his ancestors have gifted him.
‘Every painting has a tiny bit of me in it’- Maria Hegedus.
Whenever I stand, face-to-face and look a painting in its eyes, Maria Hegedus’ ten words linger in my mind. I always wonder: what tiny bit of the artist is facing me? Is it a tiny bit of their entire being or just one part? And if it is the latter, is it one part of a memory? Is it half of a journey? What if it is tiny bits of tiny bits?
Even though, I will take home what my heart feels and what races in my mind, one thing remains every time I look at art. The one thing that will never change is that I had an encounter with a tiny bit of a person, whose spirit could be absent from the soils of the ground my feet rest on or who is napping on the other side of the world. It will never happen that I merely encountered strokes of paint motion and colour.
On the 17th June, I wish to meet and look a tiny bit of Restone Maambo in the eyes. There is something that breathes in his work that my spirit knows very well. With his portrayals of African womanhood and the sitters, Maambo offers my spirit the door to a meditative state of mind. He gifts me the act of talking to the divine. In addition, his work makes me feel connected to the life that has long lived in my bones and within me. This is a look at Restone Maambo’s upcoming solo exhibition. The exhibition will be held at Melrose Gallery in Johannesburg. Additionally, it will open on the 17th of June 2021.
The upcoming Remember the Divine Mother exhibition
The title of Maambo’s upcoming exhibition reads as a whisper of the heart. It is the sound of stillness teaching you the same lesson over and over about gratitude. In my eyes, to remember the divinity that exists in the women whose womanhood has been your being’s carrier is the activity of giving thanks. Through Maambo’s eyes, it is an expression of gratitude for his relationship with his late mother whose love and womanhood lies in his heart. In addition, it is an appreciation of the beauty of all womanhood.
Additionally, the woman that Maambo brings to life in his work are women who have cultivated a sense of life only their spirits fathom. These are praying women, women whose intimacy is defined by their relationship with themselves and what lies deep within them. Since his encounters with womanhood stem from motherhood, spiritually, I feel an outpouring of something deep within. The work teaches me to give thanks. It teaches me to look inward and to never stop working on what lives within me.