She is a painter, a poet, a "flower designer," and, for a stake in life, a dutiful mother. But, in the main, Martha Ketsela is one of the very few female Ethiopian artists struggling for a breakthrough in her expertise in the United States. And, with all due respect to possible future commentaries by critics (we expect that to come in the future), she appears to have surfaced as an artist that even more makes her one of the very few to make things of their craft happen.
Martha Ketsela - Welo Mejen
According to art watchers, in her current works Martha brings a refinement of what once was a roughly hewn skill. She now combines a schooling that blends an Ethiopian upbringing whose influence she highlights in her discourse as well as her art and a western libertarian mark that possibly might have resulted from her further training as an artist (and, of course, living) first in Germany and later in the United States.
Martha nevertheless says she remains first and foremost an Ethiopian. If we are to judge her by the works she presented at the WorldSpace lobby in Washington DC. some of Martha's paintings indeed subscribe to an Ethiopian spirit. Though very much gripped by what she has lived through since 1979 when she left Ethiopia, principally western landscape and western ideas and thoughts; she occasionally managed to probe into her Ethiopian beginnings. Some of her recent paintings such as "Music" and a few more manifest a mix of Ethiopian calligraphy (not new to Ethiopian artists in the Diaspora) and western tendency for abstraction.
Martha Ketsela - 01 - Tezeta (6:04)
Martha Ketsela - 02 - Hagere (4:57)
Martha Ketsela - 03 - Welo Mejen (6:18)
Martha Ketsela - 04 - Fegegta (6:00)
Martha Ketsela - 05 - Fekere (5:44)
Martha Ketsela - 06 - Musica (5:13)
Martha Ketsela - 07 - Geze (4:36)
Martha Ketsela - 08 - Zemeta (5:22)
Martha Ketsela - 09 - Audamet (4:38)
Martha Ketsela - 10 - Gebre (4:35)
Martha Ketsela - 11 - Egesegesalhu (4:42)