“Just Outside Your Centre is a deeply personal body of works, in part holding within it the story of our collaborative relationship and friendship. This exhibition has been a long time in the making, and we are honored to exhibit it with Subliminal Projects, who have hosted and worked with so many great artists that we look up to personally.”– Keya Tama and Elléna Lourens
Subliminal Projects is pleased to present JUST OUTSIDE YOUR CENTRE by emerging South African artists Keya Tama and Elléna Lourens. Since meeting in high school in 2013, the long-time collaborators have traveled the world extensively, completing over 20 murals and projects individually and collectively. The exhibition features a series of new singular and joint works, investigating scenes of intimacy, tenderness, and stillness.
Keya and Elléna’s creative relationship initially began exploring film, music, art, and eventually murals. In this process, they developed an intuitive, organic method in which they can lean into each other’s strengths while celebrating each other’s distinct perspectives.
While their individual practices draw from different points of reference, Keya’s exuberant and nostalgic scenes contrast the ancient and contemporary, and Elléna’s figures bring about a romantic melancholy, there is a shared visual language that links their works fluently. With precise tonality, figurative emphasis, and narrative-driven references to ancient design, they create a common vision from a singular point of emotion. These scenes generate a stillness in passing moments, kept safe and sacred, just outside one’s centre.
ABOUT KEYA TAMA
Keya Tama is a South African artist based in the United States, between Los Angeles and New York. Inspired by pastel color palettes, pattern, and symbolism, Keya Tama has been a practicing artist and muralist since the age of thirteen. His style can be described as ancient contemporary minimalism; by processing and refining images into minimalistic forms while maintaining their essence, his works aim to reunite old and new through contrasting yet unified iconography. This highly individual style naturally lends itself to a variety of collaborations with other artists, makers, and craftspeople.
ABOUT ELLÉNA LOURENS
South African artist Elléna Lourens began working on personal and collaborative creative projects while in school. Since then she has further pursued illustration, street art, painting, and embroidery. Her style lends itself to the past in its representation of ancient symbols, patterns, and color schemes, while voicing an intuitively current aesthetic that resonates and seeks to redefine emotional iconography. She has immersed herself in the creative world, working alongside established artists, as well as furthering her own practice, taking part in shows and creating murals in both South Africa and internationally.