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Portia Zvavahera, What I Saw, 2016. Oil-based printing ink and oil bar on canvas. 199 x 332cm Courtesy of the artist.

Portia Zvavahera, What I See Beyond Feeling, 2016. Oil-based printing ink and oil bar on canvas. 209 x 138cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Portia Zvavahera, Vese Vakanddibata (They all gave me strength), 2016. Oil-based printing ink and oil bar on canvas. 199 x 315cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Portia Zvavahera, Handidi Kuzviona, 2016. Oil-based printing ink and oil bar on paper. 238 x 140cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Portia Zvavahera's paintings are characterized by a deep engagement with colour, often integrating finely detailed textile-like patterns and expressive gestural marks. She regularly works with oil-based inks to create rich immersive surfaces that explore complex psychological, spiritual and emotional themes. The series of works, I can feel it in my eyes (2015) for example, depicted the ecstatic and euphoric dimensions of love, and her 2016 solo show, What I see beyond feeling, focused on the world of dreams and their capacity to unravel and communicate hidden aspects of the psyche. 

During her residency at Gasworks Portia will continue to work through the influence of dreams, focussing specifically what she considers to be the subjects that orient her; love, motherhood and marriage.

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Portia Zvavahera lives and works in Harare, Zimbabwe. She studied at the BAT Visual Arts Studio, later obtaining a Diploma in Visual Arts from Harare Polytechnic. Zvavahera held a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in 2010 and represented the country at the 55th Venice Biennale as part of the exhibition Dudziro: Interrogating the Visions of Religious Beliefs (2013). Recent group exhibitions include Body Luggage, part of the steirischer herbst festival in Graz, Austria (2016); African Odysseys, Le Brass Cultural Centre of Forest, Belgium (2015); and Shifting Africa - What the Future Holds, Mediations Biennale, Poland and Kunsthalle Faust, Hannover (2014). She was awarded the 2013 Tollman Award for the Visual Arts and the 2014 FNB Art Prize.

Portia Zvavahera’s residency is supported by Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean (ICAIO).