Maliza Kiasuwa, b. 1975
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Based in Kenya, Maliza Kiasuwa is an artist of Congolese-Romanian heritage working in painting, sculpture and collage. Kiasuwa works with everyday objects and materials, combining constructive and reductive processes to explore their material and formal qualities. At the core of Kiasuwa’s practice is a transformation of materials in the eyes of the viewer, achieved by altering the typical state or context in which they appear. The histories of these objects, and their mutability, function as a continuous analogy for the transformative and regenerative cycles of life. In this exploration of the visual and physical life of materials, Kiasuwa conjures forms that intermingle with the natural and the manmade, working with materials ranging from paper and wool yarn to raffia, rubber and polyethylene mesh. The cultural and historical associations that these materials bear as a consequence of the global flow of goods and the shifting utility value of these materials, form the basis for a probing of her own personal identity and her relationship to the places she has called home. Kiasuwa’s work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Nairobi including Stranger Times (2017), New Threads (2018) and Lucid Dreams (2019) at Circle art Gallery. She has also shown her work on Kampala, London, Milan, and Geneva.