Billie Zangewa: Field of Dreams
Field of Dreams is a solo exhibition featuring new and recent works by artist Billie Zangewa. Zangewa creates intricate collages composed of hand-stitched fragments of raw silk. Her use of silk as a material speaks to the transformative nature of the work itself. Silk, as the “leftovers” of the chrysalis process, is a material created through transformation; it’s what remains and is illustrative of Billie Zangewa’s creative process of metamorphosizing life’s challenges and complex emotions into art. Both the artist and the material share the process of transformation.
The works in Field of Dreams are a departure from Zangewa’s recent figurative compositions that have centered on themes of domestic life. After spending two years home-bound due to the pandemic, Zangewa has shifted her gaze to a ponderance of the human condition and the interconnectivity of all living things. These multimedia works also call attention to the sociopolitical challenges facing societies today and the way these influences impact individuals and whole communities from one generation to the next. For the first time, Zangewa introduces beveled, antiqued mirrors designed to echo the organic shapes of the silk portrait, creating an immersive and reflective experience, both literally and metaphorically.
About the Artist
Billie Zangewa (b. 1973, Blantyre, Malawi; lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa) creates intricate collages composed of hand-stitched fragments of raw silk. Her figurative compositions explore contemporary intersectional identity, and challenge the historical stereotype, objectification, and exploitation of the black female form. Her work is a radical celebration of resilience, commonality and kinship through the language of textile collage.