Kudzanai-Violet Hwami

1993, Zimbabwe ; lives and works in London


At the centre of Kudzanai-Violet Hwami’s paintings we find the body; the naked body, in drag, proud, where black and queer identities meet. Born in Zimbabwe but living in London, this young artist casts an eye upon her country of origin, with a mix of references to the past and an optimistic vision of the future. She accordingly uses family photos from the 1970s, which she works in the form of digital collages which are then painted on canvas.
Within her family portraits, the guardian figure of the mother has a central place, as is illustrated by Lotus (2018) and Hosanna! Hosanna! (2018). Her brothers and sisters, who are twins, also appear in Epilogue [Returning to the Garden] (2016). Lying on their side, the two children, in their foetal position, face one another on a colored ground. A great softness emanates from this scene, where the bodies seem suspended and protected in an intrauterine space, in a still haptic communication, their skin partly covered by vernix. The title, which suggests a return to the days of innocence, while also indicating a culmination (the epilogue), expresses a hope for the future generation incarnated by the twins. By bringing in other images found on the Internet, like this little boy using his duvet like a cape (Untitled, 2018), K.-V. Hwami continues to explore a world where childhood reigns.
In a more irreverent way, The Egg (2016) shows the transformative capacity of bodies in an Afro-punk celebration of the LGBTQI culture (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders, Queers and Intersex people). The artist has represented herself here as a faun, bearded and with small horns, challenging the allocations of identity and gender. The painting Eve on Psylocybin (2018), for its part, sees the naked languid body of a woman plunged in a psychedelic dream of citrus fruit caused by psilocybin, a hallucinogenic drug. At the biblical origins of the world, there was thus a black Eve, in a wild garden of Eden.

Avec le soutien de / with the support of Fluxus Art Projects

Epilogue [Returning to the Garden], 2016

Frac Bretagne

Oil and acrylic on canvas

Courtesy Emma Menell.
With the support of Fluxus Art Projects.


Eve on psilocybin, 2018

Halle de la Courrouze

Oil on canvas

Courtesy of the artist and Tyburn Gallery, London.
With the support of Fluxus Art Projects.


Hosanna! Hosanna!, 2018

Halle de la Courrouze

Oil and acrylic on canvas

Courtesy of the artist and Tyburn Gallery, London.
With the support of Fluxus Art Projects.


Lotus, 2018

Halle de la Courrouze

Oil and acrylic on canvas

Courtesy of the artist and Tyburn Gallery, London.
With the support of Fluxus Art Projects.


The Egg, 2016

Halle de la Courrouze

Oil and acrylic on canvas

Courtesy Alessia Antinori & Giorgio Gallenzi.
With the support of Fluxus Art Projects.


Untitled, 2018

Halle de la Courrouze

Oil, acrylic and oil stick on canvas

Courtesy of the artist and Tyburn Gallery, London.
With the support of Fluxus Art Projects.