BRITAIN-BASED Zimbabwean visual artist, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami is set to host her debut solo exhibition dubbed If You Keep Going South You Will Meet Yourself from September 29 to November 11 at Tyburn Gallery in London.
BY ARTS REPORTER
In a statement, Tyburn Gallery director, Emma Menell said Hwami’s art works of oil paintings depict a futuristic vision of African life, a fictional utopia filled with creativity and devoid of borders.
“Hwami’s work is a celebration of Afro-punk, LGBTQ [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer], and internet sub-cultures, shot through with witty political commentary,” she said.
“Having lived across Zimbabwe, South Africa and the United Kingdom, Hwami expertly articulates issues concerning diaspora displacement and identity, forging universal narratives with an autobiographical touch.
“Experimenting with collaged images from diverse sources, Hwami creates gargantuan canvases, which slowly build up thick layers of paint with deep chromatic intensity — often incorporating other media such as pastel or charcoal.”
Menell said the exhibition looks closely at Hwami’s own personal family histories and relationships as part of the process of exploring her own identity.
“For the exhibition, Hwami has used old family photographs — mainly taken in the 1980s in Zimbabwe as a point of departure, which she then reconstructs in order to create memories, where they may be missing,” she said.
The Kwekwe-born artiste, last year, was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Wimbledon College of Arts, London, with first class honours, after completing a BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design at North Manchester College in 2013.
In the same year, she received the Cass Art Materials Grant, as well as being shortlisted for both the Clyde and Co Art Award and the Bloomberg New Contemporaries Award and was also named Young Achiever of the Year at the 2016 Zimbabwean International Women’s Awards.
Hwami has exhibited her work at the Royal Scottish Academy (2016), the Affordable Art Fair Hampstead (2016), Shonibare Studios, London (2014), and the National Football Museum, Manchester (2013).