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Cuthy Mede

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Name  Cuthy Mede

Cuthy Mede By Cuthy Mede 20th century Malawian sectionist study of figures

Cuthy Mede is a Malawian artist. Lonely Planet said "possibly the best-known [Malawian] artist is Cuthy Mede – he is also actively involved in the development and promotion of Malawian art within the country and around the world." Cuthy Mede grew up on Likoma Island, Lake Malawi where he drew in the rough sands of the beach as a child. Later he studied Fine Art in Chancellor College and became a lecturer at the College in the 1970s. By the 1980s Mede established Gallerie Africaine in Lilongwe City Centre, the first art gallery by a local artist in Malawi. Mede exhibited his work widely in Malawi, becoming a successful artist selling his work to international collectors. Mede encouraged the work of young Malawian artists struggling to make a living selling folk art and wood carvings as street traders. He also brought fine art work from other Malawian artists into his Gallery. He was commissioned to paint a large mural decorating the City Centre. Mede is best known for his modern art styles: modern, futurist, cubist and pointillist, with strong local themes. His paintings depicted local people, historic events and current events in Malawi, Biblical references with local interpretations, indigenous religious expressions, and paintings about ideas such as Justice, Greed, Man and Machine. His paintings depict famine, refugees from Mozambique during the Civil War, voting and democracy, wedding celebration, spirits and possession, and the Nyau masquerade. Mede's less known work is realistic, including a reproduction of the Mona Lisa. His best known work is dominated by bright primary colors, cubist style, though his pointillist work favors ochres and softer tones in the overall effect. In later years Mede painted mostly in shades of blue, then white on white, the purest light. Mede is an evangelical Christian and his work begins with a point of light from which the rest of the painting flows, the energy from God. This point of light is evident in most of his paintings as a single dot, a sun or moon, or an orb. Best known for his paintings, Mede also produced sculptural forms such as wood figures covered in beads and pigments. His garden in Lilongwe was made into a work of art, in white and light, with fluorescent light tubes hanging from trees and white painted rocks lining the drive and entry. Mede's wife, Esther (deceased 2009), served as Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Research and Environmental Affairs in the Malawi government.

Additional reading

  • Birch de Aguilar, Laurel. Inscribing the Mask: Ritual and Performance among the Chewa of Central Malawi. 
  • Birch de Aguilar, Laurel. "Mede: Catalyst for Change". Harare Museum of Art. 
  • Birch de Aguilar, Laurel (2006). Rethinking Age in Africa. Africa World Press. 
  • References

    Cuthy Mede Wikipedia


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