Wajipha Chongwe is a multidisciplinary artist focusing on patterns, texture, and movement. She is heavily inspired by her culture, surroundings, and her experiences thus far. As a biracial woman, and a mother, she is constantly redefining labels and parameters placed upon her by society. Her works heavily feature images of spirals and dots, symbolic of the interconnection between time, and the motion of existence. She is inspired by the physicality of life; the energy of dance, the vibration of sound, the whispering of frequencies, and the simplicity and complexity of the flow of life.
I find it difficult to convey my motivation to create art, as for me; there’s never been a question of why. Drawing and painting have always been my way of communicating my perception of reality, spirituality, and the duality of existence with the world. While I have little formal training, throughout my life art has been an unavoidable constant. It has given me the opportunity and space to share my story, and my voice.
Spirituality is a big interest for me; the idea of having a space to explore your own spirituality outside of the definitions of organized conventional religion inspire a lot of my artwork.
The images I create are brown people representing myself and others, which I find very rarely represented in the media, particularly as spiritual figures. The stories around my work are always about life, time, self-empowerment, religion, connection and love. Connection to family, born and made, are a big inspiration. I am interested in the imagery of souls as flowers, originating from seeds that form connections to such families.
As a self-taught and self-motivated artist, my works change and evolve as I change and evolve. Originally I worked with pastels, and over the years I have worked with them in tandem with black ink, colored ink or paints. My works often center around images of spirals, symbolic of life having no beginning, no ending.
Movement is also really important to me. Every thing I create is connected to movement. The movement of space, the movement of time and the movement in life. The spiral is the basis of our interconnection between real time and motion of existence. Every thing I draw is an expansion or connection of what already exists but is not always known or seen by an individual. I believe that we are all connected by threads each vibrating at various speeds and frequencies. These create movement and sound. I try to capture a snapshot of this in my artwork. My artwork is about beauty, strength and knowledge. It is the template of us…
It is created to inspire, encourage and embrace our very true sense of being…
Who am I? Where am I? How did I get here? Where do I fit in? How do I fit in? I am, I is, I are, we are… are all concepts borne out of my work.
Wajipha is Zambian Australian having lived in both countries who now resides in Amsterdam and officially identifies as being a true International citizen.