Charity Vilakazi

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.

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Charity Vilakazi

In my process of creating a narrative, it is always me coming face to face with my constant consternation. I am confronting those persistent fears that have kept me up at night. It is the excessive thinking that leads to worry and apprehension, that alters how i processes emotions and behaviour .At times a person faces potentially harmful or worry triggers, feelings of anxiety are not only normal but necessary for survival. It’s the wheel of the world, right? As we enroot things become increasingly stressful and that strain is coursed by us thinking of the substandard scenario that our life’s can take. Because as human being we can never be content with what we have, we want more but more comes with a lot of apprehension. They say do what makes you agitated and that will indicate if you have what it takes to make it. As humans we take delight in putting ourselves in positions where its survival of the fittest. And all these emotions come into play especially to the life of an artist who has to deal with constantly thinking of new creative works to put out good solid works. And that requires a lot of you mental energy and with that comes doubt and second guessing yourself /work. You overwork your mental capacity to a point where it feels like you’re going round and around. I’m inspired by my everyday life and my nightmares and my anxiety play a huge role.

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