A joint exhibition between a power art couple Tiemar Tegene & Engdaye Lemma on how they see and depict society was held at Christine X Art Gallery, Tigne street c/w Hughes Hallet street, Sliema between:

21st October  – 12th November 2023
Monday – Saturday 10am-1pm, 4-7pm

Contact details: phone / email: +356 99844653 info@christinexart.com

Although the title of this exhibition draws upon an indifference between this Ethiopian art couple and how they see and depict society, it’s not entirely so. In the work Engdaye is exhibiting, he explores the idea of society as an abstract term that “defines or links the complex inter-relations that exist among the members of the group and how human activities transform and leave marks and create change slowly and sometimes abruptly in private and public/ collective spaces.”

Spaces define the character of a city and its dwellers, according to Engdaye Lemma. In order to explain certain conditions, a view of something ‘greater than the sum of its parts’ is needed. The human condition has always meant going beyond the evidence of our senses. Many phenomena cannot be reduced to individual behavior. The marks like in rustic texture, plastic rugs, leftover papers, colours, words, paintings, the layers they make on walls, poles, and fences etc all show the speed, and temporariness of things and activities in those spaces creating visual chaos and a deep message of what was and what is. How humans think and exchange information how they practice their ‘culture’ or ‘civilisation’ and how they express their ideas and thoughts taken in its wide ethnographic sense, is that complex whole that includes knowledge, belief, art, moral, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society’.

On the contrary, Tiemar’s work explores how our social characteristics are, to a large extent, an objectively given fact, stamped on us from birth and affirmed by socialisation processes as the ‘social’ domain really exists only in the intersubjective relations between individuals, but by implication, the life of these individuals also exists in part outside the social domain. The individuality of human emotions of alienation, pain, marginalisation, and suffering caused by our current uncertainties in the world. In her work she questions and investigates individuality as a centre of focus, how societal transformations driven by multiculturalism, global culture, and global economies have significance for individuals’ sense of self or their identities – questioning what is to be human and where to belong.

Tiemar Tiemar also aims to depict the true depth of human emotion. Her work focuses on seizing the precise moment of our emotional experience by exploring
individuality, self-perception, subjective experience, and daily life. To look at memory and history, resistance, dreams and visions, the body and individuality, also include and depict both wishful thinking and fears, isolation and lust for life, curiosity, and depression, and both pride and confusion to reflect the complex world of our emotions and experience.

This exhibition of works moulded out of years of experience in printmaking is bound to leave you thinking whether it’s individuality that shapes society as a whole or whether we are conditioned by society.


  1. Exhibition review by Dr Karsten Xuereb on Artpaper
  2. ‘Two Artists in Conversation’ by Christine Xuereb Seidu on Times of Malta 

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A guest looking at Tiemar Tegene's work. Photo credit: courtesy of the photographer, Jacob Sammut