" I have always been very fascinated by this colourful world. I draw my inspiration from my everyday surrounding. I like the pure snow very much. Also I find the light of the long summer nights interesting - it gives me a lot of spiritual strength. That is why colour has always been the central theme in my art. Colour is a great source of beauty in art; it can give the work harmony. In itself they do of course not mean anything; but well composed they become very effective, very powerful. To me good composition involves harmony, i.e.. that all the elements go together well. Colours, content, narrative, composition, they all seem to mean something significant to me."

Grown up with the fascinating early art of the orthodox church and having studied art history Tigneh Negash emphasizes the importance of the 'old masters' for himself and his work. The most important ones vary with time - artistic culture interests him as a whole. Without these, he says, he feels he looses the shape of the harmonious personality. During the studies in Addis Abeba the impressionist, and later post-impressionist, influence was evident. Moscow Fine Arts Academy - heavy academical influence from Renaissance, Classicism and Realism. Later overcoming the academy influence and being free to search for the own identity - that he found in the above-mentioned early ecclesiastical art. As important artists African aboriginal and the Medieval painters come first to his mind. There was also a time when he, as he says 'developed a real obsession' for the Oriental art. Now it seems the 20th century artists fascinate the most; especially Marc Chagall and Rufino Tamayno, because they opened a new horizon, a creative revelation and a source of liberating energy.

Tignehs journey from his home country to the nowadays' home went via Moscow during the last days of the Soviet Union. Although, or maybe because, he has gone through very radical changes during his life, the residence or society does not effect his art. The changes in style, he says, are about a process that goes on within him, a process towards a higher type of artistic thought.


Born in Ethiopia, living and working in Finland