The door is opened by a tall, beautiful woman, with a dreadlocked ponytail, who welcomes us with homely ease. The gallery, at first sight, looks like its former life, a Georgian Marylebone white terraced home. This style of display is a far echo from the white-walled gallery norm. Instead, the works hang against floor-to-ceiling geometric walls. The featured pieces of contemporary furniture give the art a familial and intimate poise, making the majestic attainable, liveable.
The African perspective is a common caricature in western culture. We are not often set up as intelligent, fully formed, positive contributors to our own narrative and to the world's at large. But here I am, in a house exclusively dedicated to showcasing Luluma Wolf's phenomenal work. Her art embodies a strong African vernacular language with a contemporary tone. She peels at the layers surrounding pre-colonial dignity and spirituality. In this collection of Ndizalwe Nge Ngubo Emhlophe (I was born wrapped in a white blanket), she works through the mediums of acrylic paint mixed with Mediterranean sand, carefully stroked onto linen canvas. It is upon her linen canvases that we gather and marvel. The work is gritty yet gentle. The prominent eye is a call, a cry, a conversation, a prayer.
The evening ends with communion and warm drinks. At this point, we have also met Mae, Maya, and Elle of Zambian descent. Nomaza is generous with her time and heart. We all share a full spread of hope and the lessons of lived moments. We loan each other courage; we barter in beauty and purpose. I remember my WHY and breathe in this answered prayer.