Yolanda Mazwana’s work addresses themes around mental illness, phobias, popular culture and relationships. Her style synthesises elements of abstract expressionism, neo-expressionism and symbolism.
Her series Symptoms of Nothing uses colour and texture to mimic the ambiguous experiences of a person suffering from hypochondria. This symbolic use of colour and texture speaks to the idea that the hypochondriac is not necessarily aware of what exactly it is they are experiencing or why. The body of work presented in her first solo exhibition Secret Homegirls (2019) centres around the observation of the agoraphobic secret homegirls.
“I paint unusual formative characters to connect the dots about the questions I have in my mind [around] the female body and what it goes through. I vent about the vulnerabilities of the mind, the emotions, the…reproductive system and how our physical and physiological [responses] to trauma affects us. How our bodies respond to medications and the things that go misdiagnosed, the things that go dismissed and forgotten, the things we have to protect ourselves from. The things we choose to keep hidden to be healed and protected.”
Yolanda Mazwana was born in Eastern Cape, South Africa, in 1996. She is a self-taught visual artist currently specializing in painting. In 2019, she received The Bag Factory Young Woman Studio Bursary, Johannesburg, and in 2020, she won the second prize for the Emerging Painting Invitational Prize, Harare, ZW. Her work has been shown at various public as well as private destinations in South Africa. Yolanda Mazwana lives and works in Johannesburg, ZA.