The fabric of life

29 October 2010 - 03:11 By Boitumelo Tlhoaele

The exhibition Black Line is a deeply reflective view of the artist's own coming of age.

"Soon I'll be turning 40. I've been through a lot of difficult phases in my life and I've had to ask myself who I am," says Billie Zangewa.

In this show, Zangewa has created silk "tapestries" describing her life experiences. She has used silk off-cuts of different textures and colours that she collected from all over the globe to create an art form that is rich, both visually and conceptually.

Her work The Rebirth of the Black Venus, shows a woman against an orange background looking over the city of Johannesburg with words, "surrender, whole-heartedly, to your complexity" on a banner around her body.

The life of the city centre is captured through the different layers and colours of the silk. The artist says this collection is a direct response to her life and where she comes from. Unlike her previous works, which are "flirtatious and sensual", this collection is bolder and courageous.

"Rebirth was emotional for me, it took just over a month to complete.

"I've finally put myself out there," she says.

Afronova gallery curator Henri Vergon is excited about the exhibition and says Zangewa's work is a fresh addition to contemporary art.

"I think Zangewa will become one of the big names in contemporary art around the world," he said.

Black Line opens tonight at Afronova gallery. It's on until November 27. For more information, call 083-726-5906.