NXABE (Ncg'abe Tãse)

Ncg'abe laughed when she talks about her eight children, four boys and four girls. "They keep you busy when you are alone so that you do not feel the loneliness." She was born on the farm Xaamagan in the Ghanzi district during the early 1960’s. As a child she had a carefree life, playing around her grandmothers while they were busy with their daily tasks. Many times she and the other children went with them to collect veldfood. Today she tries to teach these things to her own children so that it should not be forgotten.
It was on this same farm where she met and fell in love with Xgaiga Qhomatcã, who became also a Kuru artist. She recalls hard times after they have been married. Hoping to find better jobs and money somewhere else, they moved to the small missionary settlement in D'Kar, where they eked out a living for their family through selling their traditional crafts and doing odd jobs in the area.

Ncg'abe joined the art project in 1992 together with her close friend Cg’ose. Initially her work and that of Cg’ose were very similar, but later on they developed their own styles. Through her art, life became easier for her family. Although she makes beautiful linoleum prints, etchings and lithographs, Ncg'abe prefers to work with oil paint on canvas. The large-scale canvases give her more freedom which is difficult to get with the printmaking techniques.
She loves the strange combinations of plants, birds and other creatures like snakes and insects. The leaves, twigs and creatures in her art sometimes form abstract patterns with great appeal. She also depicts beadwork patterns and the patterns on the shaved skin aprons, which she remembers her grandmothers made. Like all the Kuru artists she likes to apply the paint in smooth flat planes, which sometimes gives a decorative quality to her work.

She does not dwell on the sad memories of the hard times or the dismal living conditions of the community she lives in, but likes to relate to the bright and joyous memories of her life. This optimistic, joyful character of her work has made it popular in many circles. She took part in many local and international exhibitions together with the other Kuru artists and her work often appears in the yearly calendar of the Kuru Art Project.  

  Dancing around the fire circle - linocut black/white - 1999  
  Desert insects - lithograph - no date  
  Puff adder and other veldfood - reduction linocut - 1999