Tamary Kudita

Of dual heritage, Tamary Kudita was born in Zimbabwe while her ancestry can be traced back to the Orange Free State, historical Boer state in Southern Africa. She studied fine art at Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town. There, she graduated in 2017 with a bachelor of fine arts. Subsequently, she established herself in fine art photography thus beginning her artistic career. She maintains an active studio practice and has exhibited in Zimbabwe and outside the country.

Her work attempts to convey a truthful narrative and demonstrate how she engages with issues of invisibility, re-contextualization, appropriation, and subversion to preconceived ideas of black personhood. Through portraiture, she merges her contemporary aesthetic with a historical aesthetic as a way of showing how the old informs the new.

Describe the nature around you at the moment.

The nature around me is incredibly diverse and beautiful. I also view nature as an essential part of our lives as it provides us with food, water, air and shelter. Nature is also constantly changing meaning there is always something new to see and appreciate in the natural world.

Name a place where you feel most at ease.

I feel most at ease in my art studio where I’m surrounded by all my artistic creations. Being in this environment boosts my creativity and generates more thematic ideas.

How does nature guide your artistic practice?

Nature informs my artistic practice to a certain extent. For example, my photographs are created outdoors, in direct contact with the natural world and I work with people who are an extension of their environment.

What art, book or film nurtured your relationship with nature?

The paintings of Claude Monet, such as his Water Lilies series. The Water Lilies series is a testament to Monet's mastery of light and colour, and his deep appreciation for the natural world. The paintings are both beautiful and meditative, and they continue to inspire and amaze me.

What are you interested in at the moment?

I am currently exploring sculpture and 3D modelling as an extension of my photographic work.

What rituals do you practice to keep you grounded?

Taking nature walks, practicing mindfulness and connecting with loved ones. Practicing gratitude helps me focus on the positive aspects of my life and there’s a certain beauty that comes with moments of stillness.

How do you acknowledge obscured histories through your work?

Photography is a powerful tool for highlighting narratives that history missed along the way. I use a deconstructive post-colonial lens to examine how contemporary visual representations of a hybrid black identity are emancipative in their nature. In doing so, my photographic work expresses language as an emancipative tool in the conceptualisation of an empowered hypervisible black identity.

What’s your favourite plant medicine experience? (question from #TheNatureKind interview with medical herbalist Rasheeqa Ahmad)

I love turmeric and ginger tea. The calming properties are much needed considering how fast-paced the world can be.

What question would you like to ask to the next person on #TNK?

What do you think is the future of climate change?

And could you suggest someone else or other organisations you admire that we could approach for #TheNatureKind?

Wonai Haruperi - photographer. Instagram: @Wonaihshots

You can find out more about Tamary Kudita on Instagram.

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