Guambe, Nelly
Born 1987 in Chicuque, Mozambique
Lives and works in Maputo, Mozambique
Nelly Guambe’s portraits depict femininity, shared and specific. What is, and what isn’t, accessible to sight and sensibility. Engaging and disrupting a colonial art history, Guambe’s practice seeks to pull archetypes of classical Western painting into settings for black bodies. Pietas and madonne col bambini; portraits reminiscent of renaissance patron commissions, or of revised greco-roman myths — Guambe’s subjects gaze beyond their space to implicate onlookers in their uncanny manifestations. At once confronting and delicate, Guambe’s women are charged with expressing the realities of Southern African female experience as well its ambivalences. The artist herself, as well as a collective. Painting since 2010, Nelly Guambe joined the Mozambican Artist Association (Nucleo de Arte) after completing a BA in International Relations and Diplomacy in South Africa. In 2017, she cofounded the Deal Creative Space in Maputo, promoting design, entertainment, arts and literature. Recent exhibitions include Inquietude (Restlessness), Nucleo de Arte, Maputo, 2017 and Olhares, Portuges Cultural Institute, Maputo, 2018. Other highlights include works featured at Guns and Rain Gallery, Johannesburg, and Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, both 2018.
Nelly Guambe, Untitled, 2019, Charcoal on Fabriano paper, 300 gsm, 140 x 60 cm. Courtesy of Ed Cross Fine Art

Artists 2019