Photographer Tamary Kudita infuses her work with nuance and complexity by superimposing African elements into the western mediums of Victorian dress and formal portraiture:
“By reconfiguring ‘African dresses as Victorian gowns’, I invert the social power indexed by Victorian clothing and use clothing in ways that unpick inherited binaries, haunting understandings of difference in Post-Colonial Africa”.
“My work attempts to convey a truthful narrative and demonstrate how I engage with issues of invisibility, re-contextualization, and appropriation to preconceived ideas of black personhood. I look at how our unchosen histories have shaped our contemporary state. Furthermore, my work speaks directly to the common reality amongst people of colour of an ‘obscured history.'”
A product of dual heritage, Tamary Kudita was born in Zimbabwe while her ancestry can be traced back to the Orange Free State, the Boer republic in Southern Africa. She received a BA in Fine Art at Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town and quickly established herself as a fine art photographer with exhibitions in Zimbabwe and abroad.
Kudita's investigations into the legacy and impact of colonialism on the family structure has resulted in exhibitions delving into the history of the Post-colonial identity, race, and representation. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘African Victorian’, held at the National Gallery in Harare, Zimbabwe, and ‘Re-presentation’ held at the Artillery Gallery in Zimbabwe. Kudita has been awarded The VAW Journal most inspiring art piece award, 2020, and is the first ever winner of the VAW’S Cover Art Award. Tamary has also been featured in the international Photo District News Magazine as well as the British Journal of Photography.