South London visual artist Lakwena is slowly transforming her home town – and other cities around the world – with her huge, kaleidoscopic murals, breathing life and energy into everyone who walks by.
It’s impossible to miss Lakwena’s work – it’s as eye-catching as it is uncompromising, a supremely confident matrix of bright colour, inspired by (amongst other things) messianic theology, mythology and Afrofuturism. Entwined with the colours are the messages – The Power of Girl. The Future is Gold. Do not relent in doing good. In a recent interview with Elephant magazine, Lakwena describes her work as a connection point to the spiritual world:
“I want [my paintings] to have something of the gospel in them… I want my life to have some good news in it. Adverts shout a mythology that if you buy a product your life will be complete. If I put a painting up then I’m doing the same.”
The expressive, eye-popping, myth-making work has caught its followers: Lakwena has been invited to create murals and installations in Miami, New York, Las Vegas, Arkansas, and her work can frequently spotted bursting through the grey in London suburbs. And for the thousands who walk past her work in different cities every day, Lakwena is an unseen force making her world a better place to be.