Natasha Muluswela b. 1995. I am a self-taught, Zimbabwean-born visual artist based in the United Kingdom. I graduated in 2017, obtaining my degree in French and Spanish at Nottingham Trent University.
My intricately detailed paintings confront and examine how clothing is policed on the bodies of minorities. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, personal experiences and by the tragic killings of young, unarmed, Black men wearing hoodies. I delve into the politicisation, criminalisation and the demonisation of hoodies and tracksuits on the bodies of Black people.
Another central facet of my work focuses on body positivity, exploring what it means to be deemed as beautiful in our society. I explore skin conditions such as vitiligo, stretch marks and ageism. While deemed as imperfections to some or outright shameful to others, I highlight how these unique markings are what makes us human.
As of recently, my work has taken more of a conceptual standpoint by integrating moving images, imagination and fine art. I have always had a keen interest on how these three things can intertwine together to tell a story. Through hyper-surrealism, I use symbolism of faceless figures to challenge the viewers’ preconceived perceptions and ideologies of what it means to occupy space as a migrant. Shedding light on the deep-rooted realities of racism, discrimination and marginalisation in a post-colonial oppressive system. Challenging my views on not only Africa's political past and present but its potential and future through my art.
Though the themes of the work differ, they all interrogate the viewer’s perception of self. How do you see yourself? Furthermore, what role do you play in the narrative? Graphite provides the foundations for each work, the colour comes from a range of mediums and materials, often informed by the subject of the piece.