Billie Zangewa - A Quiet Fire

Billie Zangewa - A Quiet Fire
Date 29th Sep 2023 - 28th Jan 2024 Price Free - Drop-in - no ticket required Location Tramway

The first solo exhibition in a Scottish institution by Malawian artist Billie Zangewa. In her work Zangewa creates intricate figurative collages from hand-stitched fragments of raw silk that challenge the historical stereotypes and perceptions used to objectify and exploit Black women. 

Zangewa creates images of strength, independence and tenderness, often contrasted with darker moments of prejudice or distain to embody a combination of melancholy and hope which is both autobiographical and universal. 

The exhibition features a new panoramic, narrative silk collage echoing classical frescos and history painting in its format, establishing a reframing of its subject. Alongside this new work commissioned for the exhibition, A Quiet Fire includes a collection of earlier works reflective of the artist’s work and practice over the last 12 years. These images, described by the artist as acts of daily feminism, are intimate and confident speaking powerfully of the artist’s sense of self and of female identity; domestic and professional personas, an inner life and public face. A Quiet Fire is a visualization of what the female gaze, through self-portraiture, could look like.

The exhibition is realised in partnership with Brighton CCA and John Hansard Gallery, Southampton.

The Billie Zangewa exhibition,  A Quite Fire,  - the artist's first UK institutional solo show - was curated by Ben Roberts, Artistic Director of Brighton CCA. 

The exhibition's centrepiece - Return to Paradise - was commissioned by Brighton CCA for the exhibition and represents the artist's largest work to date.


Billie Zangewa, Sweet dreams, 2010
Hand-stitched silk collage
44.49 x 77.17 inches (113 x 196 cm)

Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.