Tiemar Tegene’s works are anchored in her training as a printmaker, expanding etching processes into monoprinting through spontaneous experiments, most often using household items and their textures. Rather than producing numbered editions struck from the same plate, each work falls outside of fixed description as Tegene finds new ways to press the texture of an image through the application of ink onto the page. Additions of coloured pencil forge repeating icons and patterns, becoming increasingly abstracted whilst adding layers of personal narratives.
Channelling an intimate and complex response to the world around her, Tegene’s compositions are transmutations of her emotional experiences and the nature of her relationships with others. Inside these images live the details and echoes of larger stories, whether relayed in confidence by a friend, overheard on the street, or drawn from song lyrics or film. Consolidating ‘real’ details with flourishes of reference and imagination, her portraiture reaches for specific and consuming emotional moments, that ripple through the body and space.
Tegene received a BFA in Printmaking from the Allé School of Fine Arts & Design in Addis Ababa. Her work has been exhibited in Ethiopia at the National Museum of Ethiopia, Alliance Ethio-Francaise and at the Gebre Kristos Desta Centre, and internationally, at the Lithuanian National Museum of Art and James Fuentes Gallery, New York, well as a series of public murals commissioned in the city of Addis Ababa. She has featured in the group exhibitions Fictions, Circle Art Gallery, 2022 and Addis Contemporary II, Circle Art Gallery, 2021.