Portia Zvavahera is an exceptional talent. Hailing from Juru, Zimbabwe and based in Harare, Zvavahera masterfully combines a vivid sense of colour, textile-like printed patterns and almost crude lines in her expressionist paintings.
Her imagery is rooted in religious narratives from both the Old Testament and contemporary Pentecostal sects in Zimbabwe, suffusing everyday themes with a heightened sense of otherworldliness.
Portia Zvavahera at the opening of her show, Wayfinding, at Stevenson, Johannesburg, July 2014
Zvavahera, who represented Zimbabwe at the Venice Biennale in 2013, received the Prize for a body of paintings, which continue her deeply personal concerns with experiences of marriage, childbirth and parental love.
TauyaNaye, 2013, Oil based printing ink on paper, 115x150cm
“The FNB Art Prize will help reinforce our endorsement of the artist’s valued contribution to our diverse cultural fabric and we would like to congratulate the winner of the fourth FNB Art Prize, Portia Zvavahera”
– Bernice Samuels, First National Bank Chief Marketing Officer
Ndokumbirawo Ishe, 2014, Oil-based printing ink on paper, 98 x 150cm
The FNB Art Prize was launched in 2011. All galleries participating in the Fair are given the opportunity to nominate one of their artists for consideration to our panel of judges. The winning artist receives a cash prize as well as the opportunity to showcase their work in a dedicated space at the FNB Joburg Art Fair.
This year’s prize was judged by internationally renowned curator Simon Njami who is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Revue Noire as well as a lecturer and art critic; Gabi Ncgobo, co-founder of the Centre for Historical Re-enactments, independent curator and lecturer at WITS University; and Artlogic.
Text and images courtesy of Artlogic