Plain, chequered and patchwork surfaces form the backgrounds for his signature slipper (The Political Game, 2013) and chairs (Untitled 2, 2013), which refer to the ways and manners of Ethiopian society. Here, the underutilised object becomes an allegory for the unfulfilled lives of the citizens who appear to be doing nothing more than waiting. In Solomon’s woodcuts the isolation of the human figure and his or her surroundings is often reflected in monochromatic tones. In his depictions of inanimate objects, the absence of the body from chairs, and the removal of feet from several pairs of slippers suggest a loss of presence. Solomon’s ‘Untitled Lives’ are local in scale, relating specifically to the city of Addis Ababa, yet they could have been produced anywhere. These observations reveal more than a political tension but rather a state of being at odds with a system beyond one’s control.

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