Kudzanai-Violet Hwami

Exhibitions

Biography

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 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).

Education

2016

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

2013

BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design, North Manchester College

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2017

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

2013

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

Selected Group Exhibitions

2018

L’art raconte la vie, Fondation Clément, Martinique. Organised in collaboration with Musée Dapper, Paris. (forthcoming)

2017

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

2016

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.

2015

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

Drive-Thru, ArtsLav, London, UK.

2014

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

2013

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

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

Residencies

2017

The Gathering, Kenya.

Biography & Press

2017

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.

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.

2016

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.

Awards

2016

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

Cass Art Materials Grant

Winner: Clyde & Co Award

Shortlisted: Bloomberg New Contemporaries

Collections

Nando’s Art Collection, UK.

Fondation Blachère, France.

Sindika Dokolo Foundation, Angola.