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Kudzanai-Violet Hwami

Artist 163

Kudzanai-Violet Hwami

Exploring Identity through Painting

Oil painting

Kudzanai-Violet Hwami (born 1993) is a Zimbabwean artist who specializes in painting.

Many of her paintings feature self-portraits and images of her immediate and extended family. Powerful nudes are another point of departure, boldly raising questions about the black body and its representation, as well as sexuality, gender and spirituality.

The universal issues pertaining to race, sexuality, gender, spirituality, representation, displacement, and the diaspora are explored with an autobiographical approach.

Her process involves experimenting with photography and digitally collaged images. That she uses to create large works on paper or canvas with intensely pigmented oil paint, and often incorporating other media and techniques, such as silkscreen, pastel or charcoal.

Her oil paintings reveal a deeply personal vision of life. Her vibrant colour palette is a common element in her art. This technique, together with her use of interweaving figures and symbolic elements, are often used to revisit childhood memories that reference family photographs.

I love how at times she adds whimsical elements to her powerful compositions. There is a vulnerability to her portraits that I find captivating.

Sources Consulted:

August house, Facebook feed, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami Residency


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