Lewinale Havette, an Atlanta-based Liberian artist, gained knowledge of the socio-political and aesthetic intricacies of the world by growing up exposed to various places, cultures, and beliefs. Her art, like her life, elegantly debunk the historical power structure systems that had previously surrounded her.
Lewinale’s work, born at the crux of painting, collage, and photography, tells stories of matriarchal power, female sovereignty, female sexuality, intercultural harmony, and African spirituality. She deliberately chooses to question ancient Eastern customs and resurrect her lost indigenous culture — one irrevocably changed by the spoils of civil war.
Through her practice, she seeks clarification into a broader story of lands left behind and into a reality inhabited by her grandmother, the last woman in her family to have lived in a traditional African village- the woman who was literally crushed by male dominance.
Lewinale believes that in order to better understand her own identity and take full ownership of her power, an investigation into her grandmother’s existence is crucial. The two women are intricately connected; while epitomizing Lewinale’s history and link to a common source, the matriarch informs the artist’s current reality and incoming future.
Her visual work integrates her training in dance and visual arts–with her quest for knowledge through intellectual questioning of the liberal decadent sways of her adopted land and the legendary mythical authority of her native land. Herstory becomes history as memory and transcendence fission, geographical and time divisions disappear to leave space for female sovereignty.
Lewinale’s devoted art practice yielded exhibitions with The Masur Museum of Art, The Room Art Gallery-Italy, Art Basel Miami, MINT Gallery, as well as accolades from Blavity, All Africa and Modern Luxury, among others.