Gasworks presents the first institutional solo exhibition by London-based artist Kudzanai-Violet Hwami.
Gasworks presents the first institutional solo exhibition by London-based artist Kudzanai-Violet Hwami. Born in Zimbabwe, Hwami left her homeland at the age of nine amidst political turmoil. Drawing on personal experiences of geographical dislocation and displacement, her intensely pigmented paintings combine visual fragments from a myriad of sources, including images found online and haunting family photographs, as a way to collapse past and present into bold afro-futuristic visions.
Hwami’s work bears testimony to diasporic life, migration and resilience. Her portraits are a celebration of black bodies and a powerful manifestation of queer joy, while also raising questions about gender, spirituality and the conditions of representation for marginalised communities. Often taking intricate and layered digital collages produced on a tablet as a point of departure for large-scale canvases, Hwami reflects on the role that online communication and different forms of technological mediation have in the everyday life of diasporic subjects.
After representing Zimbabwe at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019, the artist has developed her most ambitious body of work to date, a newly commissioned series of paintings that explore black self-fashioning as well as deeply personal experiences of uprooting and regrounding. Bold and tender, Hwami’s portraits interweave memory, testimony, imagination and the political longing for a truer world.