Manyaku Mashilo addresses themes of spiritual identity, memory, ancestry, community, and belonging, encompassing within her a multidisciplinary practice of painting, drawing, and collage. Mashilo presents a new way to perceive and engage with African spirituality, simultaneously challenging the traditional representations that negate the richness of the culture and exist solely to uphold and enforce distorted views. Through meticulous arrangement and layering of figures, she creates compositions that map out an imagined world where her developed and de-contextualised characters are free from a certain perception of Blackness that is imposed or projected on them. Enabling them to exist freely in motion or stillness inspires a journey to a place of healing and new beginnings.
In 2021, Mashilo’s work was included in SMO Contemporary Art’s group presentation at Art X Lagos in Lagos, Nigeria. Her work is part of the Tiroche DeLeon Collection, Tel Aviv, Israel, and Suzie Wong Collection, Kingston, Jamaica.