Lungiswa Gqunta: an artist in protest

Lungiswa Gqunta combines and transforms objects in order to interrogate segregation.
Lungiswa Gqunta combines and transforms objects in order to interrogate segregation.

"The time came where I began to see that there is no separation: your life is political", Lungiswa Gqunta says.

The New Brighton-born artist, whose body of work is characterised by domestic objects including bed frames, fabrics and bottles, uses art as a form of resistance.

"It's like another language, so if you can't understand this language, then I'll try another one, and I'll keep going until hopefully something changes, and there's communication," says Gqunta.

Born from frustration and the need to express a lived experience beyond many people's daily lives, Gqunta combines and transforms everyday objects in order to interrogate segregation and the ensuing culture of privilege, protest, violence, and alcohol - and its lasting impact on home.

"I could make works that sell but then I wouldn't be true to the ideas that I am trying to articulate.

"Whatever I do, I want to create some kind of shift in people."

During her current residency at Juan Yarur Torres Residency Studio at Gasworks London, Gqunta will work on the next chapter of her interrogation of segregation and lived experiences.

She will also contributeto an international project called Women on Aeroplanes, which is a five-part exhibition, set in different spaces in Africa and Europe, that explores untold stories of women in African history.

Qwitha, her latest exhibition, delves deeper into this narrative. With the addition of new motifs including repurposed brushes with matchstick bristles, and hanging razor wire with found
floral, Gqunta's work continues to incite images of home and fire. "Our house, as in our whole country, is on fire, and who is gonna put it out?"

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