Where Do We Go From Here? marks our first exhibition at PAPER2 since the gallery closed in March, and is the first solo exhibition by Salford artist Foday Kabba.
Kabba presents a series of ink drawings on paper. These are essentially portraits, yet the heads of these figures are assembled from scaffolding and a wealth of construction materials. Within these girders and beams, we find a linear eye or nostril. These are characters whose inner workings are open and visible, partially formed. These figures could easily be a metaphor for how each individual constructs their own identity. In his recent interview with the Fourdrinier editor, Sara Jaspan, Kabba discussed his interest in portraying the many different parts or sides of the self, of our internal reality, and, in turn, of how we “construct ourselves” for others. Kabba says, “I meet so many people that seem like they’re just projecting what they think others will like,” he says. “We never ask: Who are we? Where do we want to go? What are we learning? Instead, we chain ourselves to others.” Check out the article here.
Kabba draws intuitively and constantly, making sketches wherever he might be, whether that is travelling to work on the public transport, on breaks, or at home. Sketching is a crucial aspect of the development of his work, and was something that was instilled into him during his Fine Art Degree at University of Salford, and has since embedded into his practice. Graduating in 2018, Kabba worked primary in metalwork, welding metal bars to create abstract portraits. These works combine pure abstraction with subtle hints of figuration. This is further emphasised in his drawings. Kabba is clearly influenced by the Surrealists, as well as the 20th century Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida. The pervasive presence of these artists can be felt throughout Kabba’s work, as his figures collapse into their constituent parts, their mechanisms of construction rendered visible.
Foday Kabba graduated from BA (Hons) Fine Art at University of Salford in 2018. Where Do We Go From Here? is the Kabba’s first solo exhibition. His work was also a part of the group exhibition Ice Cream for Crow at make Liverpool in 2017. Foday has been involved in residencies at john Latham's Flat Time House in London and MerzBarn in Ambleside. Kabba is featured in the September issue of the Fourdrinier (www.thefourdrinier.com) and can be followed on Instagram @the_namesfoday.