Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, 'Ego in Red Socks', 2016, Oil and charcoal on paper, 205 x 156 cm, Courtesy of Tyburn Gallery
Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, 'Ego in Red Socks', 2016, Oil and charcoal on paper, 205 x 156 cm, Courtesy of Tyburn Gallery 

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 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.

Hwami 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. 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 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).