Billie Zangewa

Billie Zangewa

Born in 1973 in Blantyre, Malawi.
Lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Billie Zangewa was born to a South African mother and Malawian father. She was raised in Gaborone Botswana and educated there as well as in Malawi and South Africa, completing a Fine Art degree at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. There she majored in printmaking and it was her experience with paper that initiated her interest in working with a rich surface which then led her to textiles – silk in particular. After having spent a few years travelling and living in London, she has returned to Johannesburg where she is now based. She has been feeding on her experiences to create stories revealing her appetite for life and awareness of the world. In her silk tapestries, Billie comes out as a triumphant African woman, conscious of her roots and fully in touch with her environment. Her intimate universes meet the public realm in daring and original silk tapestries with strong narratives and presence. The cut silk collage and cotton embroidery offer a rich medium with precious textures and sensitive palettes, feminine but never quaint nor decorative. Billie Zangewa made a mark with her début solo exhibition in Johannesburg in 2004 and has since consistently produced striking artworks and strengthened her unmistakable universe.