Kimathi Mafafo 


Embroidered Panel, 2017


41cm x 29cm

More Artwork by Kimathi Mafafo

Kimathi Mafafo’s multidisciplinary practise ranges from embroidery, oil painting to installation and is characterised by lush greenery and sensuous drapery. Born in the semi-arid Northern Cape these verdant imaginings are far removed from the mining town of Kimberly that Mafafo grew up in, they are scenes of escape. Motherhood sparked within Mafafo a deep desire to reconnect with nature and prompted her to reimagine her body in alternative environments. Although the female subject is not Mafafo herself, she projects her own belief in the strength and beauty of the black female form onto the body of her muse, creating a powerful and universal figure of the nurturing female form. Added to this, her exposure at a young age to 17th century Dutch and Flemish still- lives influenced Mafafo to become a technically exacting painter. Although her compositions burst with riotous plant life, each leaf and frond are meticulously executed. Despite the level of detail, however, Mafafo’s work remains deceptively flat which emphasises the staged nature of these scenes that are products of a deeply imaginative mind.