Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Conversation with Artist Teklit Zecarias

Part II

 Teklit at the Eritrean Festival 2012, Washington, D.C.
(picture courtesy of Yared Tseggai)

Issayas: One of your painting is on the Eritrean postage stamps. Would you tell us more about it? What is the title of the painting? What year, etc?

Teklit: In 2001, for the 10th anniversary of Eritrean independence, there was an art competition for postal stamp; and three artists (Martha, Petros and I) won. The title of my art work is Hagerey Shlematey (My County, My Jewelry); the painting shows that, during the war with weyan (the ruling elite in Ethiopia), Eritrean mothers and sisters placing their gold, even their wedding rings, on the top of the Eritrean flag. The role of Eritrean women during the war and peace is remarkable, which has not been done in other countries.

Hagerey Shlematey(My Country, My Jewelery)

 Teklit, Petros and Martha winners  of the postal art competition, 2001

Issayas: Have you won other awards?

Teklit: In 2000, during the first Eritrean Students Festival, I was awarded for first place. The title of the work was Hidri (promise). In 2004, in my school Lipscomb University, I was awarded for first place and honored.

1st prize award at Lipscomb University

Issayas; You also studied graphic design? What is graphic design?

Teklit: I have not done a lot in graphic design, but for me graphic design is just like other kinds of art, has the same Principles of art. The difference is just that you have to do it in computer using graphic software.

Issayas: In our discussion, you mentioned that you know and did internship with Nadia Biasolo. How did your internship with Nadia (owner of Alkemya in Asmara. check my blog on Alkemya) helped you in shaping your artistic world? What kinds of things were you doing during your internship?          

Teklit: I started working with Nadia Biasolo in 1995. We (two friends and I)  were drawing murals on walls when we met Nadia. She invited us to her house. Then we started working and learning with her as interns. We kept working with Nadia  and going to her studio until 2002. I have learned a lot from her. At that time, all the ideas and plans was her's, we were just giving her a hand, following her instruction on projects that she had. Yes it does help me a lot. I understand that art is not just drawing and painting only. If one artist has an open mind to learn new things he/she could do different kind of art, because  art has the same principle. Nadia has a lot of experience on her profession; her works of art has great quality. I was very impressed by the process of her work. She start her work from raw material (cotton) then she finishes her final product with decoration of art. I have learned discipline and patience from Nadia, when you do an art work. I did painting on  walls and on  products of cotton or crafts. She is a wonderful friend and a teacher for me.

Issayas: Teklit, you're right. Nadia is very creative. Beside the products that they do at Alkeyma, I saw etro (big Eritrean traditional clay jar for traditional drinks) as a light stand in her house. Well, Teklit thank you for your time and this conversation.

Teklit: Thank you.

More pictures of Teklit's paintings. Note: Pictures courtesy of Teklit.

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