Kudzanai ­Violet Hwami

Kudzanai-­Violet Hwami was born in Gutu, Zimbabwe in 1993, and lived in South Africa from the ages of 9 to 17. She currently lives and works in the UK. In 2016, the same year she graduated from Wimbledon College of Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, she was awarded the Clyde & Co. Award and the Young Achiever of

the Year Award at the Zimbabwean International Women’s Awards, as well as being shortlisted for Bloomberg New Contemporaries. In 2017, she mounted her first solo show at Tyburn Gallery, which was critically acclaimed by critics and the press.
Hwami’s courageous and tender oil paintings reveal a deeply personal vision of Southern African life. Many of her paintings feature self-­portraits and images of her immediate and extended family. Powerful nudes are another point of departure, boldly raising questions about the black body and its representation, as well as sexuality, gender and spirituality. Her influences include music, such as ZimHeavy & Afrobeats;; literature, including the works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Carl Jung;; and her own ongoing voyage of self-­discovery.
The artist’s vivid work raises issues surrounding diaspora, displacement and identity. Her process involves experimenting with photography and digitally collaged images, using these to create large works on paper or canvas with intensely pigmented oil paint, and often incorporating other media and techniques, such as silkscreen, pastel or charcoal.
Her work is currently featured in the group exhibition Talisman in the Age of Difference, curated by Yinka Shonibare MBE at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London.
In 2018, Hwami’s work will be shown 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 sontles nôtres at Triangle France in Marseille, France. In autumn 2019 the artist will have her first institutional solo exhibition at Gasworks in London.

© 2015 National Gallery of Zimbabwe . All Rights Reserved.