Teresa Kutala Firmino

b. 1993, South Africa

Discontinued Healing, 2019
Mixed media on canvas

Text and image courtesy Everard Read, South Africa

The female figures pictured in the artwork reference the Mbalantu tribe who reside near the Angolan and Nambian border. Many of their traditions revolve around or are given expression through different hair styles. The girls and women of the Mbalantu prepare their hair in different styles to reflect the different stages of their lives and the status this brings.

Firmino is preoccupied with revisiting historical narratives.  “History is often biased and one-sided, so to get a better understanding I reimagine my past in this so-called truth,” says the artist.

Personal memories and historical events and imagery are combined and presented in interior scenes that function as possibilities and invitations to reimagine the past.