Zangewa, Billie
Born in 1973 in Blantyre, Malawi. Lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa
Billie Zangewa pursued her studies in Botswana and Malawi, before relocating to Grahamstown, South Africa to undertake a fine arts degree at Rhodes University. It was here that Zangewa became acquainted with printmaking and developed her, now idiomatic, material literacy through handling an array of materials and techniques. This period catalyzed her love of rich surfaces and textiles, particularly for working with silk, which forms the basis of her delicately embroidered and collaged compositions. Zangewa’s works exemplify a contemporary reinvention of tapestry traditions, wherein autobiographical and universal experiences entwine and unfold. Episodic scenes of motherhood, Black femininity, and personal relationships are celebrated as powerful narrations of everyday life. Zangewa’s works have been exhibited widely, including at Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2015–6); the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein (2015); WIELS, Brussels (2015); La Maison Rouge, Paris (2013); The Menil Collection, Houston (2012); and Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA) (2012).
Billie Zangewa, Morning Glory (detail), 2017, Silk tapestry, 137 x 54 cm / 54 x 21 in, Courtesy AFRONOVA GALLERY