Manyaku Mashilo | Artist Overview

Manyaku Mashilo was born in 1991 in Limpopo, South Africa and is currently based in Cape Town,-South Africa. Mashilo’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses mixed media painting, drawing, and collage, addressing themes of spiritual identity, memory, ancestry, community and be-longing. Drawing on inspiration from photographic archives, she depicts scenes where imaginary characters migrate through fantastical worlds between unknown places andrituals of shared belief. Mashilo’s characters are often represented through portraits set in abstract cosmological landscapes. Her scenes are visual stories that offer a pluralityof imagined futures; piecing together mappings of time, place, space and making sense of a rich tradition of African spirituality and identities.

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“ I spent a lot of my youth learning and working tirelessly for and in institutions that did not include people who look like me or give us the opportunity to imagine futures informed by our traditions and environments. I felt very alienated and lost confidence in my identity for a long time. My eureka moment I guess would happen everytime I left these institutions and decided to do whatever felt like home. This is when I decided to be an artist. To not be confined by medium, time and everything else that is strategically placed before me to silence me.”