A Sinfonia da Alma Liberta II (Sounds of a Free Soul)
A Sinfonia da Alma Liberta II (Sounds of a Free Soul) by Lizette Chirrime opens at the Worldart Gallery on September 1. It is Chirrime’s first Cape Town solo exhibition and will present a new body of large-scale textile-driven works realised on canvases. Her art is united by vibrant abstract forms rendered in a collage of printed fabrics from Tshwe-tshwe to other so-called African prints associated with dress on the continent.
Feet and hands are recurring motifs in her art, evoking the human body and her identity-responsive practice. Chirrime initially turned to art to refashion her self-image and transcend a painful upbringing, which had left her shattered and broken. She ‘re-stitched’ herself together via hanging works made from hessian. She identified herself with this overlooked fabric that is readily discarded and used as doormats in Mozambique. In transforming hessian into collectable and admired artworks, she began a journey of self-redemption, eventually reclaiming a new identity for herself. Not only did she emerge as an artist but healed her childhood wounds. Art is a psychically loaded practice for Chirrime.
The textile medium, associated with clothing, suited her drive to refashion herself, though it was her psyche she was ‘re-stitching’ together. Having achieved her transformation through her textile-art, she now works with conventional fabrics in bright prints which are collaged to form bold amorphous forms. These abstract forms evoke the body and allude to the titular ‘free soul.’
These liberated ‘souls’ are depicted ‘dancing’ on the canvases, bringing to mind, well-dressed African women celebrating. The interplay between textiles, abstraction and art as a therapeutic and spiritual tool all make Chirrime’s art unique and distinctively African.
Chirrime has lived in worked in Cape Town since 2005. She is celebrated in her native Mozambique, where she staged two solo exhibitions. She has enjoyed numerous local and international residencies since taking up one at the Greatmore Studios in Woodstock, Cape Town.
She has been invited by Nando’s in partnership with Yellowwoods Art, together with three other artists featured in the Nando’s UK collection, to show her work at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London, from 6-9 October 2016.
A Sinfonia da Alma Liberta II (Sounds of a Free Soul) will show at Worldart Gallery until September 29.