Echoes Of Humanity

May 19, 2024 - June 21, 2024


Exhibition Statement

In the quiet spaces of our moments, the whispers of history linger, knitting intricate patterns that shape the very fabric of our existence. These echoes, which resonate with the triumphs and tribulations of our ancestors, serve as guideposts illuminating the path forward that remind us of our shared heritage, the lessons learned, and the wisdom gained with each reverberation. We are called to learn and forge a future that honours the echoes of our collective humanity.


Solomon Mugutso (b, Zimbabwe) lives and works in Johannesburg. Mugutso is an  artist whose work focuses on the lives of people captured in the aesthetic that put the world and human life adrift.

Encapsulating hope, Mugutso’s work mirrors the words of poet, Emily Dickinson, “hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul”, there to sing a tune without words. Thus on the “wings of hope” the recurring motif of the red box with a window that he calls the window of hope speaks to a more complex narrative of hope. Where the gap between coping and wishing is bridged by a belief system we call faith. Through faith (whether secular or religious), the impossible is made to seem possible, and the meaningless meaningful. (Eliott, 2022)

Mugutso’s own personal experiences and those of the people he has encountered taps into the psychological and spiritual sensibility of the people he depicts in order to instil a new sense of being in this world. Society or life itself has a tendency of boxing one and for Mugutso the entrapment of this, specifically the point where it feels like there is no way out is the voice through which his works speaks from. The symbol of the box in his works, symbolises that although at first glance it seems like there is no way our there is. Regardless of any challenge or difficulties one might be facing. Thereby creating a portal that although at first glance seems limiting, it becomes an alter to inspire thought by means of one’s own authority from the voice, from the self, from breath, from the cosmos, from the primal and source of freedom which is you. The key is to be aware of that which will always be there in the shape of the box but in Mugutso’ own words “I shall carry them with grace because I also know that there is a way out”. (Ratau, 2022)

Mugutso’s symbolic approach of allowing the viewer to interpret what the box means to them is a fruitful way of generating new ideas, meaning and understanding of life. By working with hope as a philosophical concept that drives the lives of many people across the world. As Scioli (2007:136) puts it, “Hope is especially important in dealing with stress and adversity.” During times of adversity or global or national tragedies such as war and economic depressions, governments find themselves responsible for instilling a sense of hope in people to ensure that they do not despair and fear. (Ratau, 2022)

Mugutso’s works primarily on paper using charcoal and acrylic. His approach is relaxed and playful resembling a childlike application. This is deliberate because he believes that children are free to express their emotions without sticking to rules. His stick, silhouette figures represents the human soul not a specific race or tribe therefore in their ambivalence one can make their own language.

Mugutso has held numerous solo exhibitions since 2002 and has participated in various local and international exhibitions.


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