“These abstract forms evoke the human body and my identity-responsive practice where I refashion my self-image and transcend a painful upbringing that left me shattered and broken. I literally ‘re-stitched’ myself together. These liberated ‘souls’ are depicted ‘dancing’ on the canvas, bringing to mind, well-dressed African women celebrating”
Lizette Chirrime was born in 1973 in Angoche (Nampula), Mozambique and grew up in Maputo. She currently lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.
She attended commercial school until the age of seventeen but creating artworks using paint and sewing has always been her passion. In 2004 she was invited to host her first solo exhibition in Mozambique and in 2005 she accepted a three-month residency at Greatmore Studios in Cape Town, South Africa.
She creates large-scale textile-driven works on canvas with abstract forms rendered in a collage of printed fabrics from Tshwe-tshwe to other so-called African prints associated with dress on the continent.
The interplay between textiles, abstraction, and art as a therapeutic and spiritual tool, make Chirrime’s art unique and distinctively African.
“I grew up under very harsh conditions, angry and afraid of life and with no self-esteem. I was a wounded person. I started gardening and drawing and this became my therapy. As a young adult, I found myself on an island off the coast of Nyambane in Mozambique where I lived on my own for months. Here I started facing nature and understanding that I am part of nature and that I could conquer my fears feeding off the strength of this very nature I am part of. I kept myself busy during the days creating artworks out of found materials. This is where the healing process started.”