Kudzanai-Violet Hwami

Biography

Kudzanai-Violet Hwami was born in Kwekwe, 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 was the recipient of the Cass Art Materials Grant, as well as being shortlisted for both the Clyde & Co Art Award and the Bloomberg New Contemporaries Award. She also named Young Achiever of the Year at the 2016 Zimbabwean International Womens Awards. She has exhibited her work at the Royal Scottish Academy (2016), the Affordable Art Fair Hampstead (2016), Shonibare Studios, London (2014), and the National Football Museum, Manchester (2013).

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

Solo exhibition, Tyburn Gallery, London, UK. (forthcoming)

2013

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

Selected Group Exhibitions

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

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

Fondation Blachère