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Friday, 8 July 2011

Mwaba, Sanderson, Planel lend ambience to Zebra Crossings Cafe

By Andrew Mulenga

The Zebra Crossings Cafe, Ababa House's cosy little bar and restaurant on Lusaka's Addis Ababa drive is once again host to an art exhibition.
Winter Shiraz (Acrylic on canvas)
 by Nicole Sanderson
This time Frank Planel, Ngandwe Mwaba and Nicole Sanderson paintings and drawings have lent to the ambience of the dining area of the cafe. Speaking of which, Planel's large format animal-themed pastel drawings and acrylic paintings appear to be quite at home as they go well with the Zebra print salt-sellers and the gecko bass relief wooden pillars.
In fact, Planel's drawings make up the greater part of the exhibition with about 10 works on display. But before you get to the corner where his work is displayed, you are greeted by a flirtatious little painting by Sanderson entitled Winter Shiraz which depicts the close cropped lower torso of a woman clad only in panties and stockings that appears to be upside down. Judging from its soft shades of red as well as its title, one can deduce that it
Pick ‘N Play (Ballpoint pen on paper)
by Ngandwe Mwaba
was partially inspired by Shiraz red wine. To the immediate left there is yet another interesting painting by the artist, a semi abstract painting of a woman playfully caressing her naked back. Unfortunately, despite her entertaining themes, Sanderson only has about four works in total on display.
Mwaba's work is in the space right after Sanderson's. He has about six on display and all of them are in his  trademark medium, ball point pen, the kind found in the pencil case of every school bag. And while he too does not seem to have a specific theme, it is becoming a delight to see what the young artist is able to do with an everyday writing tool.
Zebra (Acrylic on canvas)
by Francis Planel
Out of his six works on display, four were booked for purchase on the opening night.  According to Mwaba, he managed to secure a purchase for one of the works even before it could be hung up. As alternative exhibition space, Ababa House is becoming increasingly popular with a constant flow of small, but significant artistic activities. On Thursday July 14 they will be hosting a must see exhibition featuring all round artist Lutanda Mwamba and painter Radu Kirby. While we appreciate all that Serena and team are doing with regards their enthusiasm and support for the arts, it would be good if they could print mini portfolios of the artists whose works are on display at any given time. In this case not much is know about Planel and Sanderson, so some mini biographies could have really come in handy, especially because artists cannot be present throughout the duration of an exhibition.
Mwaba, nevertheless was available and expressed enthusiasm at the opportunity to exhibit it the Zebra Crossing Cafe.
"Personally, this is a good thing for me. In terms of career I think this place is a good apace to be spotted. I see myself gaining new collectors. I think it has also helped me gain a little confidence to work towards my first solo exhibition some time. But I can’t say I'm not in a hurry for that" he says.


  1. Reviewing is sometimes a tough job for me, specially about atrs. You are doing it nicely and in a flawless style. Stay well and have fun.


  2. Faysal

    Thanks for the compliment and encouragement... its fuel.