Nelsa Guambe

Status Quo

CCFM – Centre Culturel Franco-Mozambicain
Maputo, Mozambique
5 – 29 octobre 2016
Commissaire d’exposition

Workshop de gyotaku pour enfants, visites guidées de l’exposition pour des écoles mozambicaines et étrangères, projection du film “Wasteland” de Vik Muniz

carton invit-Nelsa Guambe-print-2


Nasci, em Chicuque (Inhambane), em 1987. Vivo, e trabalho em Maputo. Licenciada em 2010 em, Administração Pública e Estudos de Desenvolvimento na UNISA (University of South Africa). Membro e artista no Núcleo de Arte desde 2010, onde realizei a minha primeira exposição individual (Maputo, 2015), depois a segunda exposição na Associação Moçambicana de fotografia (Maputo, 2015).

Participei em exposições colectivas em diversas instituições, das quais se destacam as seguintes: Núcleo de Arte, (Maputo,2011); Instituto Cultural Moçambique Alemanha (Maputo, 2012); Exposição privada (Alemanha, 2012); Centro Cultural Franco- Moçambicano (Maputo, 2012); Núcleo de Arte (Maputo, 2013), Polana Serena Hotel (Maputo, 2014), Mediateca do BCI (Maputo),DF contemporary gallery (Cape Town, 2016). Educação artística, autodidacta.


Christine Cibert: Hello Nelsa, could you present yourself in a few words?
Nelsa Guambe: I am Nelsa Guambe, 29 years old, I am from Chicuque (Inhambane), I am an artist, I love painting and photography, these two things are my passion.

Christine Cibert: How did you start being an artist? Where this desire to paint, to express you artistically came from?
Nelsa Guambe: I never really thought of becoming an artist although I always wanted to become a photographer. I have always been to art exhibitions because I always wanted to become an art collector. And in 2010, I got to know better Nucleo d’Arte through my sister and artist Nelly, which really fascinated me, for its special atmosphere, for all these artists gathering there. So, I fell in love with painting, brushes, canvases, etc. and so, I decided starting painting too.

Christine Cibert: How do you work? Do you make a sketch before? How long do you take to make a painting? When do you know that it’s finished? Can you tell us about your process of creation?
Nelsa Guambe: It depends, for every painting, it’s different. Most of the time, I have a preconceived idea of what I want. Sometimes, I think about it long in advance and make sketches, like for this precise exhibition which I thought about for one year. And sometimes, it is more spontaneous and I paint right away. The time that I really take depends on my thoughts, my previous idea, the sketches that I need to do, the informations that I gather and how I want to fit them in one big canvas, how I want to compose it, etc. It’s a long process. Once I look at my painting, if my visualisation of the idea that I had in mind and the result that I get are close to what I was expecting originally, then, it makes me feel happy and I am ready to let it go.

Christine Cibert: What represent your artworks? What is the theme of this exhibition in particular? What message do you want to express in this title, ‘Status Quo’? What is the evolution since your last exhibition one year ago?
Nelsa Guambe: Most of the time in my art, my focus is to have a continuous conversation with Mozambique and especially Maputo where I live and work. My previous personal exhibition named ‘Vozes’ was also inspired by the voices that I hear, people talking in the streets about what is going on in our country, in our city. This actual exhibition doesn’t differ much from the last one. It’s focusing even more on the current, hot topics and bigger consequences that occur on our daily life and that I try to portrait in my paintings, showing this very emotional, hunger, frustration state on mind of the population, that I can see with my own eyes, the ‘status quo’ in which the Mozambican society is in at the moment, that move, disturb, inspire me.

Christine Cibert: What are your sources of influences? Pictorial, photography, literature, others?
Nelsa Guambe: As I said before, my first source of inspiration is Mozambique but aesthetically, I like very much how the Mozambican painter Samate used to play with colours and his sense of composition very well balanced really fascinates me. Somehow, it also links me to the Magnum (international most famous photojournalism agency) photographers’ sense of composition in their strong images of reality. My dream is to be able to gather the two in my art.

Christine Cibert: What does it mean for you to be a woman artist, an African artist, a Mozambican artist?
Nelsa Guambe: It doesn’t differ much if I am an international, an African or a Mozambican artist. We are still the minority, worldwide, continental, country, province, district-wise, wherever! As a woman, I think I have a very important role to play, not only just being an artist but proving myself in the women’s world, in order to inspire younger women to become also artists, meaning that we always have to work harder than men to succeed! But I feel very privileged to be part of this time, this platform, that space, especially now that the attention is very big in African art, everybody’s looking at Africa. So, if you are a woman, an artist, now in Mozambique, there is a chance! It’s good to make use of this chance, to produce, to try to exhibit. It’s not an easy job but women are used to hard things, especially in Mozambique where it’s a very dominated men’s world, where you can easily count the small quantity of women artists that you can find here. I hope that younger people who have interest in art can see that it’s possible, but that you have to give your best without limiting your creativity, to be what you want to really be, to do what you want to really do, whatever judgements coming out.

Christine Cibert: What are your projects or desires for the future?
Nelsa Guambe: Difficult to say as Mozambican people are short term thinkers! But of course, we have dreams, hope and desires. I would like to create more and to exhibit outside of Mozambique. The dream is to take the female Mozambican art outside of this country, especially as a young person. Artistically, I would like to shift into a softer side of human kind which is love but which can also be tough and messy!

Thank-you for this personal and artistic exchange!
Thank-you for your time!


©Christine Cibert 2021 • tous droits réservés • mentions légales