Lakwena Maciver creates painted prayers and meditations which respond to and re-appropriate elements of popular culture. Exploring the role of the artist as mythmaker, with their use of acid-bright colour and bold typographic text, her paintings act as a means of decolonisation, subtly subverting prevailing mythologies. Her approach is instinctive and autodidactic, producing visceral, rhythmic and immersive panel paintings, iconic murals and installations.
Challenging both the external and the internalised voice of mass media, Lakwena has created works in the public realm internationally, from installations at Tate Britain, Somerset House, Facebook and the Southbank Centre in London, to a juvenile detention centre in Arkansas, a monastery in Vienna, and the Bowery Wall in New York City.
Lakwena’s most recent body of work focuses on the interplay between her practices as both artist and mother of two young sons. Responding to feminist author bell hooks’ essay Homeplace (a site of resistance), and in the tradition of African women across the diaspora, Lakwena is painting the walls of her home to create a space of affirmation, empowerment and resistance. Conceived in the context of the continuing threat to the lives of young black men, these paintings counteract various forms of oppression, both subtle and overt. The creation of a space of protection and healing takes on a wider meaning in the current reality of lockdown. The duration of this time will see the artist produce a series of panel paintings to this end, to be documented through the artist and Vigo gallery’s instagram accounts. Our hope is that when conditions allow a selected number of guests will be invited to view the outcome of the project.