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images copyright The Artists

The Mauritanian

‘The Mauritanian’ invites viewers to discover the multi-layered diversity of the people from this lesser-known West African country through a series of portraits.

It does so by capturing the physical  (un)likeness  of  individuals  from Mauritania without depicting specific persons. The  exhibition  rather  shows  the  everyday Mauritanian  and,  inherently,  embodies  the people’s diversity, persistence, and culture.

At the same time, every portrait stands for itself by allowing the viewer to get immersed into an aspect of Mauritanian culture. The viewer meets a Mauritanian on eye-level and becomes connected to their story. 

The exhibition is also an exploration of the artists’ own identity. Through studying and creatively capturing the people of his motherland, he immersed himself into their culture and stories, that remain unspoken but become in another form, ways of communicating and challenging ideas, values and histories embedded in being Mauritanian.

images copyright The Artists

In Addis Ababa

"In Addis Ababa" is drawn from several journeys to the Kidane Mehret Children’s Home in the Ethiopian capital in 2009 (or 2001 by the Ethiopian calendar).

It is a small selection from the original exhibition which was part of the PhotoIreland Festival 2013.

The pictures, digitally processed to capture the atmosphere, colour, and emotive sense of place, are intended to give a glimpse of everyday life in the city of Addis Ababa, although not in photojournalistic way, and without the normal stereotypes of images of Ethiopia.

Spiers says of the work:

 “Every day we travelled around the city in one of the distinctive blue Lada taxis that provide the main means of public transport and we took hundreds photos.

I had intended to create of series of paintings based on these photos and so I set about distilling them into images that I could use. I digitally processed the original photographs to capture the atmosphere, colour, and emotive sense of place, as well as the abstract qualities of the subjects.

I wanted to show Addis in positive and unusual way and bring out a sense of  its otherworldliness. They are very much a personal artistic impression and I hope they provide an unexpected view of a unique place.”

A physical booklet, as well as the pictures themselves, are available for sale and all proceeds are being donated to the Kidane Mehret Children’s Home.