The origins of these ‘Jump paintings’ stem from two full-size courts painted in 2020 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to honour Senator Flowers, whose impassioned 2019 speech against proposed ‘Stand Your Ground’ legislation went viral and inspired Lakwena in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement the following year. Entitled I’ll bring you flowers, the defiantly joyful paintings used the universality of the basketball court as a canvas to speak of hope in the face of oppression and blessing through adversity.
For these new paintings, Lakwena took physical and biographical references as a starting point. Each is titled with the first name of the player and is the same height as the individual. They are painted on bespoke slim wooden panels and given a seductive, almost mirror-like gloss. This idea of reflection adds a personal interactive element to the viewing experience.