Zama Mwandla is absolutely unapologetic about her focus: the murderous revenge fantasies of rape victims in search of “heinous means to heal from a traumatic past”. Her paintings introduce a panoply of human-animal hybrids which reappear in the series, each character carrying particular signification.
These surreal creatures manifest in playful, seductive, rich colours – a means to entrap a male audience into confronting her graphic and gruesome subject matter. In her bold re-tellings of violence, rumination, psychopathic imagination, rage and grievance, she makes her characters relatable. Mwandla suggests, however, that attempts at revenge are ultimately futile; they are relegated to the world of fantasy, scenes on repeat. Mwandla graduated recently from Wits University with a BAFA (with Honours), achieving multiple awards during her studies under the tutelage of artist and scholar Professor Sharlene Khan. Her work was shown at the African Feminisms (Afems) exhibition in 2019, as well as by She Impressions and Joburge Fringe in 2021.
You can view Mwandla’s debut group exhibition with Guns & Rain in the Fresh Voices 2022 catalogue.
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Fantasy, Gender, Identity, Narrative, Politics, Sexuality, Vulnerability
Fantasy, Gender, Narrative, Politics, Sexuality, Vulnerability
Fantasy, Gender, Sexuality, Vulnerability
Fantasy, Gender, Politics, Sexuality, Vulnerability
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