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.
Fiorucci presents a very special collaboration with artist Lakwena. Based in London, Lakwena employs bright colour and bold text to create paintings which, often appearing in public spaces in the form of murals, can be understood to be 'escape routes, afrofuturistic portals to utopia'. Fiorucci and Lakwena connect through their relationship with music, for as Fiorucci draws on disco, Lakwena draws on gospel, a musical culture that similarly centres around ideas of connectedness, spirituality and joy. The collection melds Fiorucci's visual language with that of Lakwena, combining bright colours, bold patterns, reworked logos and original motifs. The collection features all-over print denim jackets and jeans, shirts and velvet flares, along with printed Lycra tops emblazoned with Fiorucci's iconic Angels. The collaboration is presented via a short film starring Soul Sound gospel choir who, diverse in age and size, encapsulate this idea of coming together and deliver an uplifting message of connectedness and joy – perhaps in a time when we need it the most. The collection will be available online and in-store from November '21.
Artist - Lakwena Maciver
Producer - Alix Murat Photographer: Ruth Ossai
Videographer - Lorraine Khamali
Stylist - Theo White
Hair Stylist- Shamara Roper
Make-Up artist - Joey Choy
Choir Leader- Juliana Ogunjinmi Bamidele
Choir talent- Sandra Townsend
Choir talent- Evelyn Van-Beest
Choir talent- Emmanuel Ogunjinmi
Choir talent- Lisa Okoroafor
Choir talent - Mariam Akintokun