I make works using ibomvu (Red clay) with acrylic paints as a way to show the beauty of my characters as that was and still is a form of beautification practiced by African womxn .These works are inspired by African folktales/literature and traditional story telling through a matriarchal gaze by/for the womxn past and present who fought and withstand or destabilize patriarchal control, manipulation, exclusion and the oppression of woman ,womanist who fought against stereotypes that manifest in gender and power relations.Womxn have controlled societal views of what is expected of them.I had a privilege of being surrounded by grandmothers that believed in enforcing values that we as young girls are worth everything as the boys and they made sure to tell us tales that had a women protagonist they would tell us tales, which were handed down by word of mouth through generations and are an essential part of keeping up tradition.These tales both educated and entertained us. It was or is the backbone of keeping us united and having a sense of belonging within the realms of our ancestors.The narratives often told contradict, challenge or satirize androcentric authority both overly and covertly. My work is highlighting African women in folktales that illustrate the liberated and disruptive potential of the female power, resilience, wisdom and agency.Drawing on the resources of chronicles, it illustrates how these narrative frames authenticate female agency and are restored and empowering to the African woman’s psyche, and it also tells the wisdom of folklore, myth, fantasy, and social history, can instigate social change and egalitarian relations whilst celebrating the women of Africa as key protagonists, profound in their power as in their humanity.
Charity Vilakazi is a visual artist who tell stories through multidisciplinary mediums. I live in Johannesburg but I call Durban home.
I get my overly imaginative views from my father and my grandmother. Growing up being the last-born girl I sent my days annoying my grandmother and pestering her with questions and I was never satisfied I always wanted to do more. My grandmother always asked me what I dreamt about and that I should write down every dream and nightmare I had on the night.
I studied and fell more in love with photography at the Market Photo Workshop, but I never felt enough with just photography so I started learning how to paint and find confidence in creating other mediums of art. I have since been part of few group exhibitions like (in)sight an all women show at through the lens collective and Joburg fringe. And I have the pleasure of being part of the between 10 and 5 A3E program. And I am currently in an art acceleration incubation with SACII. The Art that I create is very much representing different parts of abstraction, mythology, African folklore, curiosity , self-analysis and spirituality but also cinematically inspired. I love what I do and it gives me everlasting possibilities.