Nelly Guambe’s (b.1987) paintings explore and reflect upon women’s circumstances and emotions. Finding her inspiration in women whom she encounters in everyday life and work, as well as in herself, her art responds to a powerful urge to document and record their unknown state of being.
With their hallmark penetrating eyes, her portraits evoke a probing uncertainty, a certain restlessness that frequently leaves the viewer with questions rather than answers. The tension between positive and negative coexists in equal measure in each work – Guambe’s portraits perhaps shed light on the fundamental state of ambivalence in which many contemporary southern African women find themselves, amidst both opportunity and constraint.
Born and raised in Mozambique, Guambe began painting in 2010 when she joined the Mozambican Artist Association, Nucleo de Arte, after completing a BA in International Relations and Diplomacy in South Africa in the previous year. She is now a full time artist. The themes of everyday womanhood and the human figure are also reflected in the artist’s simultaneous venture into fashion design. Guambe established two up-cycling fashion brands between 2012 and 2016, and in 2017 she co-founded the Deal Creative Space in Maputo, which promotes design, entertainment, arts, and literature.
Exhibitions, Awards & Collections
Collections, Group And Solo Exhibitions
2019 – Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town, South Africa
2018 – Guns and Rain Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2018 – Mozambican Consulate, Hamburg, Germany
2018 – 1:54 Art Fair, Ed Cross Fine Art, London
2018 – Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2017 – Solo Exhibition “Inquietude”, Nucleo de Arte, Maputo
2017 – 16 Neto Gallery, Maputo
2016 – Museu das Pescas, Maputo
2016 – Azgo Festival, Maputo
2016 – Núcleo de Arte, Maputo
2015 – Azgo Festival, Maputo
2014 – French Cultural Centre of Mozambique Maputo
2014 – Kulungwana Gallery, Maputo
2012-2013 – American Cultural Centre, Maputo
2012 – French Cultural Centre of Mozambique, Maputo
2012 – Galeria Kunstraum Instituto Cultural Moçambique Alemanha, Maputo
2012 – Private Exhibition – Detmold, Germany
2011 – Núcleo de Arte, Maputo
Her work has been collected by Robert Devereux, amongst others