” I was always aware of my desire to taste magic.
The magic of my maternal village and the magic of everything my orthodox, religious upbringing withheld from me. My early ideas of ‘Africanness’ and female sexual prowess were shaped by a patriarchal belief system with which I bear no resemblance.
I burned with questions and only defiance would answer. I photograph, draw, paint and color as my memories, visions, night, and daydreams shapeshift into a physical reality.”
Lewinale Havette, an Atlanta and New York-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 and photography, tells stories of matriarchal power and female sovereignty. 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.
In order to better understand her own identity and take full ownership of her power, an investigation into her own spiritual human existence is crucial.
Her pieces integrate 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.