“Taytu Betul” belongs to “The Empresses”, a series of five glorious prints carefully composed of butterfly wings that create a kaleidoscope effect and are placed on a flaming red background. Each work has been carefully screen printed with glitter coat which offers that gleaming effect on them. Each Empress from this series is named after five exceptionally influential female rulers: Wu Zetian (624-705), Nūr Jahān (1577-1645), Theodora (c. 490-548), Suiko (554-628) and Taytu Betul (1851-1918). Their characters and stories are enhanced by the dominant red tone of the series, which deals with themes such as life, war, power, anger, love, joy and luck.
A composition that is infused with an exhilarating sense of speed and movement, Taytu Betul is named after the fierce empress of Ethiopia. Upon her marriage to Emperor Menelik, in 1889 Taytu Betul (c. 1851-1918) became empress of Ethiopia. She was anything but a passive ruler, unequivocally resistant to imperialism and staunchly opposed to any negotiations that would result in a loss of Ethiopian territory. During her reign, Taytu Betul also founded Addis Ababa, which remains Ethiopia’s capital city today.
“I just made these 5 mega red glitter prints! I thought the idea was good but seeing them now, real, they feel like they are unlocking the unfathomable mysteries of the universe. I don’t know why they are so good but they are... They feel powerful and important. I called them “The Empresses” and named them after five famous female rulers (...) I love art and it’s uplifting qualities and how can these not make you feel good? I love it when an idea explodes and becomes more than the sum of it’s parts.„