Kudzanai-Violet Hwami



Kudzanai-Violet Hwami was born in Gutu, Zimbabwe in 1993, and lives and works in London. In 2016, she 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.

Hwami’s bright, irreverent oil paintings design scenes belonging to a futuristic vision of African life, a fictional utopia filled with creativity and without borders. Her work is a celebration of Afro-punk, LGBTQ, and internet sub-cultures, shot through with witty political commentary. Having lived in Zimbabwe, South Africa and the UK, she is able to expertly articulate issues around diaspora, displacement and identity, forging universal narratives with an autobiographical touch. Her process involves experimentation with digitally collaged images from diverse sources to create her own reference, from which she creates gargantuan canvases, slowly building up thick layers of paint with deep chromatic intensity, and often incorporating other media such as pastel or charcoal. She often uses nudes as a point of departure, boldly bringing up questions of the black body and its representation, as well as sexuality, gender and spirituality.

In 2016, she won the Clyde & Co Art Award and the Cass Art Materials Grant, as well as being shortlisted for the Bloomberg New Contemporaries Award. The same year, she was also named Young Achiever of the Year at the Zimbabwean International Women’s Awards. She has exhibited her work at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (2017), the Royal Scottish Academy (2016), and Shonibare Studios, London (2014). Her first major solo exhibition, If You Keep Going South You’ll Meet Yourself, was mounted in 2017 at Tyburn Gallery, London, UK.

In 2018, Hwami will be exhibiting work at Les Ateliers de Rennes (the Rennes Biennial of Contemporary Art), in Rennes, France. She will also be included in the group show Vos désirs sont les nôtres at Triangle France in Marseille.



Bachelor of Fine Arts, Concentration in Painting, Wimbledon College of Arts, London, UK


BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design, North Manchester College

Selected Solo Exhibitions


If You Keep Going South You'll Meet Yourself, Tyburn Gallery, London, UK.


We Made You Nations & Tribes, CornExchange, Manchester, UK.

Selected Group Exhibitions


Vos désirs sont les nôtres, Triangle France, Marseille, France. (forthcoming)

Les Ateliers de Rennes - Biennale d'Art Contemporain, Rennes, France. (forthcoming)

Ladies by Ladies, Espace Art Absolument, Paris, France.

Afriques: artistes d’hier et d'aujourd’hui, Fondation Clément, Martinique. Organised in collaboration with Musée Dapper, Paris, France.


Discoloured Margins, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe.


RSA Open Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, Lower Galleries, Edinburgh, UK.

Black Blossoms Exhibition, UAL showroom, High Holborn, London, UK.

Affordable Art Fair Hampstead, London, UK.

Undergraduate Summer Show, Wimbledon College of Art, London, UK Find The Start, Copeland Gallery, London, UK.

It’s a Pleasure [Curated by Jacob Seddon], Greyhound Lane, London, UK.


Black History Festival exhibition, Union Gallery, Chelsea College of Arts, UK.

Drive-Thru, ArtsLav, London, UK.


ganda'Nga: weeping clay pot / Guest Project Africa Exhibition, Shonibare Studios, London, UK.


Visual Arts & Music Festival / NQ Pop-Up, Shudehill Studios, Manchester, UK

The Art of Football, The National Football Museum, Manchester, UK.



Dzimbanhete, Zimbabwe. (forthcoming)


The Gathering, Kenya.

Biography & Press


Meale, Cressida, No Shrinking Violet, Twin Magazine, October 2017, pp. 119-124.

Lowe, Rhiannon, If You Keep Going South You’ll Meet Yourself, CCQ Magazine, Issue 13, October 2017.

---, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami’s colourful canvases explore her African upbringing, Harper’s Bazaar, October 2017, pp. 186.

Roberts, Sarah, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami’s paintings are a celebration of Afro-punk and the LGBTQ+ community, Hero-magazine.com, 6 October 2017.

Forbes, Alexander and Gottschalk, Molly, 10 Artists to Watch at Frieze London, 1:54, and Sunday, Artsy.net, 06 October 2017.

Black, Holly, Five Unmissable Artists from London’s African Art Fair, anothermag.com, 5 October 2017.

---, Focus on Africa, BBC News, 5 October 2017.

Smith, Andy, The Vibrant, Wide-Reaching Paintings of Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, hifructose.com, 13 September 2017.

Jason, Stefanie, 6 Artwork Highlights from Joburg Art Fair 2017, 10and5.com, 11 September 2017.

Gvero, Verna, At 1:54, a young(er) generation of artists take spotlight , happening.media, 4 October 2017

---, The London shows to see this autumn, happening.media, 30th August 2017

Donoghue, Katy, Touria El Glaoui on 1:54 Turning Fice and Expanding to Marrakech, Whitewall.art, 4 October 2017.

Forbes, Alexander & Gottschalk, Molly, 10 Artist to watch at Frieze London, 1:54 and Sunday, Artsy.net, 6 October 2017.

Thompson, Jessie, London art gallery guide: Kudzanai-Violet Hwami at Tyburn Gallery, Standard.co.uk, 13 October 2017

---, Artist to watch at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Elephant.art, 7 October 2017

---. When in London… October brings Frieze, 1:54, and more, Contemporaryand.com, 1 October 2017


Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, queercircle.com, November 2016.

----, Artist Interview: Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, cassart.co.uk, 3 June 2016.

----, Winner of Cass Art Materials Grant – Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, madeinartslondon.wordpress.com, 8 April 2016.

Zinyembia,Tariro, Fungisai scoops Ziwa Award, hmetro.co.zw, 31 October 2016.




Nominee: Young Achiever of the Year, Zimbabwean International Women’s Awards


Young Achiever of the Year, Zimbabwean International Women’s Awards

Cass Art Materials Grant

Winner: Clyde & Co Award

Shortlisted: Bloomberg New Contemporaries



Nando’s Art Collection, UK.

Fondation Blachère, France.

Sindika Dokolo Foundation, Angola.