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Paul Maheke: To Be Blindly Hopeful

23 March 2024 - 29 June 2024

Exhibition

In the space where the intimate and the global converge, where a personal narrative intersects with a broader socio-political landscape, the work of Paul Maheke comes to life. 

Here at Mostyn, Maheke presents his largest solo exhibition in the UK to date, inviting us into a world where drawings, prints, videos and paintings composed into thoughtful installations, weave a narrative that transcends the confines of the written word, where it all started.

To Be Blindly Hopeful emerged from the very last sentence of a journal that Maheke wrote between August 2020 and June 2021, encapsulating those turbulent months. The exhibition serves as a proposal to revisit fragments of this journal, a personal odyssey that became the genesis of a body of work, as intricate as it is expansive. The exhibition title references the artist’s mindset during a period marked by uncertainty and upheaval. It beckons us to consider the potency of hope, not as a calculated response to circumstance, but as a courageous act of faith in the face of adversity.

Central to Maheke’s practice is a delicate dance between the intimate and the global, echoing the sentiment expressed by bell hooks, who reminds us that “the space of our lack is also the space of possibility.” The exhibition unfolds as a journey through the various streams of struggle from which these artworks draw their voice. Each piece is a testament to the artist’s ability to navigate the complex interplay between the self and the collective, offering viewers an opportunity to reflect on their own roles within the broader tapestry of human experience.

As we enter Maheke’s immersive world, we are confronted with the artist’s profound engagement with the notion that hope can be a transformative force. It is not a passive waiting, but an active meeting with the possibilities that arise in the void left by uncertainty. The interplay of light and shadow in Maheke’s visual language serves as a metaphor for this constant back-and-forth, mirroring the intricate dance of hope and despair that defines the human experience.

In a world teetering on the brink of change, this exhibition invites us to confront the unknown and embrace the potentiality inherent in moments of doubt. It is a celebration of resilience, a testament to the power of art to illuminate the darkest corners of our existence and, in doing so, to foster a renewed sense of hope. Maheke suggests we navigate the intricacies of our shared humanity with an unwavering, albeit hopeful, gaze.

Exhibition curated by Alfredo Cramerotti, former Director, Mostyn, and Kalliopi Tsipni-Kolaza, Curator of Visual Arts, Mostyn. Kindly supported by Galerie Sultana, Goodman Gallery and the French Institute of the UK.

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