Tiwani Contemporary announces Virginia Chihota’s first solo exhibition in Europe, A Thorn in my Flesh (munzwa munyama yangu). Chihota represented Zimbabwe at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013 and was awarded the Prix Canson in the same year, which recognises an international emerging artist working with paper.
Over the past years, Chihota has submitted her life, recently her experience of marriage and motherhood, to considerable observation and transformed her thoughts into a body of works on paper of striking symbolic resonance, rife with allusions to everyday life, religious and folkloric symbolism.
Working across printmaking and drawing, she observes the human figure and depicts it with expressive force. A Thorn in my Flesh takes her meditations on the body as a departure point, and explores the connection between self and other, self and environment in relation to female subjectivity.
Chihota’s monoprints often depict the human form, isolated or trapped within womb-like membranes of translucent colours and inky patterns. Her bold line and play with transparency highlight her exceptional skills as a printmaker, and convey her authority as much as her subjects’ vulnerability and anxiety.
The work comes out of a personal response to relationships and represents a world of boundless desires in which the subject always encounters limitations. It lays bare personal experiences drawn from the artist’s life as a woman, a mother, a wife, as she rises to heights of beauty and delves into visions of horror; and shares with us epiphanies of love and solitude.
Private View: Thursday 8 January 2015, 6.30 – 8.30 pm