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, languages, 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, photography and digital manipulation, tells stories of matriarchal power, female sexuality, intercultural harmony, and African spirituality. She deliberately chooses to question ancient Eastern customs to accommodate a more progressive, modern mode of expression and thinking, which welcomes the idea that all humanity is born from a common source, and thus, innately unified. This idea, prevalent across Lewinale’s work, is based on the single-origin hypothesis that holds that the origin of modern anatomical humans harkens back to the first homo sapiens in Africa. Even more, this hypothesis is strengthened through the study of the Mitochondrial Eve or the matrilineal most recent common ancestor (MRCA), the woman considered to be the first from whom all women and men descended in a continuous genetic line. Lewinale’s art enthusiastically embraces the concept that our first common ancestor was an African woman.
Through her practice, Lewinale explores her curiosity about her African origins, looking for answers where her father’s strict Western Christian teachings impeded inquiries into a broader story of lands left behind. Her visual work integrates her training in dance, music and visual arts with her ongoing 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 genders and races fission and geographical and time divisions disappear to leave space for a utopian place where all are empowered.
Lewinale’s devoted art practice yielded exhibitions with THE ROOM Art Gallery in Italy and Art Basel Miami and UNICEF Next Generation in the U.S, as well as accolades from AJC, All Africa and Modern Luxury, among others.