‘EMBOLDEN’ – KIMATHI MAFAFO, 05 SEP – 02 NOV 2019
We are delighted to present a series of figurative and abstract panels by Kimathi Mafafo in her latest solo exhibition at EBONY/CURATED. Mafafo’s meticulous and bold embroidered figurative panels are reflective of her resistance against external control and the historic ceiling placed upon women.
Her latest large-scale abstract hand-stitched pieces (first introduced at the 2019 Cape Town Art Fair) are complex and layered; bold in colour and size, highlighting a more playful side to the artist. These new abstract panels have a kinetic feeling achieved by using different stitches and the repurposing of fabric off-cuts in order to give existing materials meaning. Mafafo’s work confronts the viewer with mankind’s innate connection to respect tradition which contrasts with our desire to evolve whilst evoking feelings of empathy, curiosity, strength, playfulness and sometimes discomfort.
“This woman’s work I suggest is informed by how the approach to her subject matter alludes to a disclosure of transgressions of the past, the present and future. In these, she creates a tension between becoming and being, concealing and revealing, retreating and showing up, all of which are an embodiment of the arduous negotiations Black women have to make in navigating their existence in society.”
-Dr Same Mdluli