Souad Abdelrassoul & Shabu Mwangi: A Never Ending Longing

London, Cromwell Place, Gallery 12, 9–15 May 2022

Souad Abdelrassoul and Shabu Mwangi create works that comment on the contingent nature of our shared existence. Their semi-autobiographical works highlight the undeniable connections that we have to our community, and furthermore, in the case of Abdelrassoul, to the natural world. They invite a consideration of how these connections shape who we are, who we can be, and most importantly, how we can imagine ourselves within and beyond our present realities.

Souad Abdelrassoul’s (b. 1974) work connects human and animal figures to the natural world, believing we are a part of it. Her compositions trouble notions of space and form, producing strikingly personal works in which she exalts nature, emotion, and the feminine. Throughout her work – often referencing mythologies, legends, and art historical tropes – she weaves narratives that tell of how women evolve and grow in spite of social and material conditions that are oppressive and restrictive.

Shabu Mwangi’s (b. 1985) work follows an ongoing examination of the self. Interested in the effects of structural and historical violence, and different forms of marginalisation on the individual and collective psyche, Shabu’s paintings are considerations of societal and cultural fissures. His works look inward, tracing an ongoing personal journey of striving to understand the balance between the two things that guide our actions – love and pain.