The Kimathi Mafafo Collection.
Born 1984, Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa
Lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa
The daughter of Rocky Mafafo (artist) and Nonkala Mafafo (community clothing designer), Kimathi's father was her mentor, laying the foundation when taking her along to exhibitions where she would help him name and hang his art. He taught her the intricacies of balance in strokes and different mediums. Kim works with oil on large format canvas. She expresses the grandeur of Aziwe, the African woman.
Kimathi Mafafo’s African woman is not iconic. Her take on a European painting tradition is not derivative. What we are asked to appreciate is a cherished ideal which, historically, has been denied to women – sacrosanct privacy, self-determination & liberty.
She draws inspiration from Virginia Woolf forceful reminder of this in A Room of One’s Own, as did Mary Wollstonecraft a century before in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.
Mafafo's African woman is the young Miriam Makeba, or the young Winnie Mandela. Women who were denied the right to privacy, self-determination and liberty. In order to achieve these things, they were forced to leave their country and sacrifice much.
Forced to withdraw. It is the principle of 'withdrawnness', of solitude, which sits behind Mafafo’s cycle of work. She seeks nothing other than the sanctity of confident, secure, solitude.