Reference: Elisabeth Steen, ANIOS heelkunde:

Last summer I bought a painting of Gele. His art stood out to me before, because I know his partner Zoa. I can especially appreciate the way he portrays women. It doesn’t happen in the usual way, but these paintings are more a mirroring on how he really sees women. With a lot of love and respect.
The painting I bought was also one of a woman. When I look at it, her eyes mesmerize me immediately. When I take a deeper look, I see the characteristics of her tribe in Ethiopia; the way her hair is dressed, the accessories and her naked upper body. Her somewhat crooked facial expression, more real than all the pictures in the glossy magazines. I want to get to know here better and I’m happy Gele can show her to me.

Reference: Zoe Cochia, NIFFO Gallerie/Recycle Studio:

Gele has this casual way of bringing about his artwork. Not produced, but pure, primal and from the core of who he is. In this day and age we need people like him to soften the society we live in. Gele is way more open in his demeanor and has way less fears than children that have been brought up here. We can also learn from these ‘primal’ cultures, their knowledge and wisdom. Gele his art fits in the process of having more understanding for one another.

Reference Dr. Maarten Mous, Professor of African Linguistics:
Gele Hailu is a young man from the Hamar tribe in Ethiopia who assists us during lectures where students practice linguistic field work. For us this is a unique experience because of the language he speaks. Hamar is a language from South Ethiopia that made contact way later with the rest of the world than other parts of Africa. This language because of that house scharacteristics that are unique and very interesting for the linguistic sector. Also the Hamar culture has its own very unique character and is very visible in Gele’s art. I was very surprised to hear that someone from the Hamar tribe recided in Europe and in The Netherland. After meeting with Gele for a few times I was happily affected by his openness, sincerity, curiousity and observational skills. By sharing with us what he finds peculiar he gives us the opportunity to mirror us in a way that is truly unique and therefore fully unexpected, disarming and insightful

Reference: Daisy Twist, Arbeidsdeskundige (work expert):

Unique pure ‘tribal art’, straight from the heart of the mystical Hamar tribe from Ethopia.
Gele’s artworks are mysterious, magical and drenched with passion, emotion and feeling, pure and created without restraint, calculation and strategy. His art speaks the language of his Hamar tribe from the South of Ethiopia, gives a voice to the unwritten, makes the unseen visible and resonates with the spectator who opens his heart and touches his heart in return.

His visual art is more than just a mere artistic expression. It goes furthers. His art creates bridges between continents and is because of that of interglobal importance. Through the creation of his artworks he shows the cultural systematic and linguistic particularities of the Hamar tradition in regards to the oral traditions of rituals, dance figures, body decorations and decoration motifs on objects.

He brings these theme’s to life with pure love in his artworks. The rituals and habits of his tribe live on in this way. His art acts as a historical book and a hatch for the Hamar Tribe. Gele’s art plays an important role in assuring that the heritage of this tribe that is being threatened of getting faded if we look at the upcoming assimilation and integration of their tribe with the rest of the world.

In short: Gele’s work captures oral traditions and is therefore of historical importance. He gives a voice to his tribe so they can be heard and seen in the Western world.
Last but not least: Gele promotes the ‘intergrobal connection’, connection and understanding which makes him a true ambassador generally for the African continent and for his tribe in the Western World. Isn’t it beautiful how the cultural heritage gets preserved for the coming generations?

Reference: Anneke Lovert, Cura Vida Center:
Gele’s work really struck a chord within me. Especially the paintings of women. In his own authentic and pure way he knows how to portray the power and also the vulnerable energy of African women. Here houses more than a thousand unsaid words.
I hope he gets the chance and space in the Netherlands to portray the energy of the women in the Dutch society and in that way capture this essence in a unique way. I see a new Picasso in him.