Agness Buya Yombwe

Taboo Series, © Yombwe

16.05.2018 - Article

“She is not an artist” was a predication an exhibition organizer made at the very start of Agness Buya Yombwe´s career when he excluded her work from the display. He could not have been any more mistaken. Years later Agness has achieved great successes as a mixed media artist who was among others awarded with the Julia Malunga Award, the First Price in Print/Graphic Category in Artist in Botswana and the Best Artwork by Female Artist in the Franco-COMESA Club Exhibition. Agness held five solo exhibitions and also had her work displayed internationally in countries such as Germany, Botswana, Namibia, Norway, UK and the USA. In 1995 and 2002 she undertook studio residencies at the Edvard Munch Studio in Oslo and the McColl Center for Visual Arts in North Carolina.

Her artwork is inspired by interactions with other people from all walks of life. Culture and tradition play a crucial role for her. Agness Buya Yombwe´s respectful approaches to the topics are often critical and address societal taboos. Using innovative techniques, her style, use of materials and themes attests to an artist who likes to think out of the box which is shown in arts series such as “Taboo” or “Tonse Balilya”. Having experienced societal resistance herself, Agness has made a strong point for women in arts and fosters female artists. Currently she is mentoring 12 girls in artwork at Wayi Wayi Art Studio and Gallery in Livingstone which is run by Agness and her husband.

Only recently, Agness published an autobiographical catalogue called “Kudumbisiana (Dialogue)” which displays her arts profile from her early work up to today. The compilation highlights the constant dialogue with society that she has led through her entire life as an artist giving inside in her personal challenges and triumphs as well as addressing broader concerns and critical issues such as superstition, tribalism or gender-based violence.

The German Embassy proudly presents her as the Artist of the Month in March 2016. Find Agness Buya Yombwe´s contact details and a selection of her work in our online gallery or visit her at her studio in Livingstone.

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