Pangea is back with a host of new artists all contributing fascinating pieces with a political agenda….

Gomezbarros Sam Drake
Rafael Gómezbarros, Casa Tomada, 2013, Cuerda Arenas, Cerrejón Coal, © Sam Drake, 2014
Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London

We headed to the Saatchi gallery to see one of the most talked about exhibitions of the year, ‘Pangea 2: New Art from Africa and Latin America’ is on until the 6th of September and is truly a sight to behold. Located just 10 minutes from Sloane Square station, the Saatchi gallery boasts presenting 15 of the 20 most visited exhibitions in London in the last 5 years and with Pangea 2 it doesn’t seem like they’ll be bucking the trend.

Federico Herrero, Untitled, 2008, Mixed media on canvas, 300 x 500 cm (c) Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London

At its crux all art is inherently political, it makes statements about the world we inhabit with a refreshing sincerity so rarely found in an age where we scarcely say what we truly feel. The various artists who have contributed to this awe inspiring exhibition have made sure they’re voices are heard. Commenting on a multitude of subjects ranging from immigration, identity and what we can define as ‘high art’. Traversing each room of the Saatchi gallery feels like a spectacle in itself. No two artists provided work similar in tonality. Creating an atmosphere rich in a variety of form, texture and colour.

Rafael Gómezbarros, who’s work crawled along the walls of the Saatchi consisted of what appeared to be a multitude of ‘ants’ with torsos comprised of human skulls. Commenting on the dark topic of immigrant displacement and death. This is starkly juxtaposed by the brightly coloured designs of Frederico Herrero. Who’s playfully schizophrenic aesthetic, reminiscent of pop art adorned the walls merely metres apart. Here at People Tree our idealism does not solely extend towards the plight of the garment worker or the environment, strong statements made by the numerous talented artists on display invoked feelings evocative of a call to arms. Not simply informing the viewer but daring to inspire. Leading those privileged enough to observe from a Western perspective into a cry for change.

Bocle Everything Must Go
Jean-François Boclé, Everything Must Go, 2014, 97,000 blue plastic bags (HD polythlene, thickness 18/20 microns) 54 x 30 x 14 cm each Justin Piperger, 2015

Some of our favourite works were submitted by Jorge Mayet, an exiled Cuban sculptor who produced beautiful miniature trees from electrical wire, acrylics and fabric. The focal point of these pieces not being the foliage but instead the life providing roots. Visceral imagery with obvious connotations and allusion to identity and cultural heritage. Jean-François Boclé who’s iconographic ‘Everything Must Go’ has been seen everywhere from Time Out’s ‘Things to Do in London’ to our own beloved People Tree Twitter feed. Formed of 97,000 Blue plastic bags Boclé’s bold minimalistic approach left no room for misinterpretation. A piece which truly needs to be seen first-hand to be appreciated.

From the basquiat-esque to the picturesque Pangea 2 houses works brimming with powerful statements as well as vivid imagery, we loved every second of this exhibition and feel that it merits a second visit. A menagerie of exquisite pieces. This collection of new art from Africa and Latin America is certainly not one to miss

Feature Image:  Dawit Abebe. No.2 Background 1. 2014. Mixed media painting. 150 x 130 cm. (c) Dabit Abebe, 2014. Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London

Words: Jordan Troy

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