New Art at Kettle’s Yard
In 2024 we are excited to present solo exhibitions by Issam Kourbaj, Megan Rooney and Portia Zvavahera, featuring new and recent works. Read more below to find out more about these exceptional artists.
Kettle’s Yard Director Andrew Nairne says:
We are thrilled to be presenting three remarkable exhibitions in 2024. Each artist renews the potential of art, and in particular painting and mark making, reflecting our contemporary world. Visit all three exhibitions and you can expect astonishing personal stories, stunning colour and new art.
Issam Kourbaj: Urgent Archive
2 March – 26 May 2024
Since 2011 Issam Kourbaj’s artwork has responded to the ongoing conflict in Syria, and reflects on the suffering of his fellow Syrians and the destruction of his cultural heritage. This exhibition presents key works from this period alongside a new series which explores themes of loss, memory and renewal.
Inspired by a seed’s ability to sprout roots in new environments, Kourbaj will grow Syrian wheat (donated by ICARDA) at Kettle’s Yard and Downing College, creating new work in collaboration with The Heong Gallery, Cambridge University Botanic Garden and the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
The exhibition – the artist’s largest to date – will include installation, sculpture, performance and works on paper. Kourbaj will be present at intervals throughout the exhibition, which will evolve as he adds to the displays.
22 June – 6 October 2024
This is the first major solo exhibition in the UK of work by Megan Rooney (b. 1985, South Africa).
In June 2024, Megan Rooney will spend three weeks making a new ‘mural’, painting directly on the walls of one of Kettle’s Yard’s two galleries. In the other gallery a group of new paintings will be exhibited for the first time.
Rooney’s paintings have an irresistible life and energy, renewing the potential of abstraction to embody the richness of the visual world. Created in ‘family groups’, the size of the canvases she uses are determined by the reach of her outstretched arms. Vibrant colour and line appear boundless, capturing the ebb and flow of their making, from the use of abrasives to remove pigment to repeated overpainting. Each work tells a compelling story, poetically recalling the real, the remembered and the imagined – inviting visitors into their restless and pleasurable worlds.
22 October 2024 – 16 February 2025
Presenting new and recent paintings, this exhibition will be Portia Zvavahera’s first solo exhibition at a public gallery in Europe.
Drawing on southern Africa culture, Christian iconography, traditional European painting and African printmaking, this exhibition will show artworks informed by the artists own dreams and the spiritual traditions she grew up with as a child.
These semi-autobiographical works use layers of colour and texture and various artistic techniques including batik stencilling, block-printing, drawing and painting with ink.