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Charmaine Chanakira

I Am All And None

28th Oct - 7th Nov, PV 28th October
Bomb Factory South Gallery

Free tickets available via Eventbrite

Charmaine Chanakira is a London based painter. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, the state of being on the move has stimulated the artist’s concern with navigating her own status.


The artist’s identification as a BLACK/ ZIMBABWEAN/ MIGRANT/ WOMAN living in the UK is central to her practice; as the artist claims: ‘I’m not just one thing, I am all and none.’


The exhibition ‘I Am All And None’ opens on the final week of Black History Month. Addressing  the social and political injustices that she has personally experienced, Chanakira’s work engages with the notions of decolonisation and social justice, challenging the world in which she lives...   


Change comes to be the subject matter and the organising principle of her painting.  Bright colours jump from the surface of the canvas, submerging the drawing and doodles that can be seen faintly below the paint. With iconography reminiscent of the 1980’s New York Neo-expressionist movement, the works on paper are filled with signs and messages. At the juncture of art and activism, one imagines them like posters hastily glued to walls, bus stops and other parts of a city to be seen by all who pass, sometimes in protest, or sometimes as a celebration. 



From these works emerge a portrait of the artist. Chanakira explains: ‘What always made me feel better was painting or drawing, creating artworks that detached me from the material world. But I found that painting carried me away to a place where I was calm, safe and unjudged. I wasn’t bound to creating something perfect, I didn’t have to colour within the lines. I travelled to a place where I was face to face with my feelings and confronted them with every brush stroke. Eventually, I managed to pick myself up and return to a healthy thought cycle. From my experience using art in a therapeutic manner, I felt compelled to explore this professionally.’


‘I Am All And None’ ties with the artist’s passion for people which has grown over the years, thus encouraging her to develop a career in the mental health sector. Considering art’s social function, this exhibition is a step towards staging first-hand the benefits of using art to self-heal and to encourage emotional intelligence through the making of art itself.

Private View: Thursday 28 October 2021, 6-9pm
Dates:  28 October – 7 November 2021
Location: Bomb Factory South Gallery, Unit G13 (Lots Road Entrance), The Plaza, 535 Kings Road, London, SW10 0SZ.

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