Nontsikelelo Mutiti is a Zimbabwe-born artist and educator. Her works span many different genres and disciplines. Mutiti is also co-founder of the Zimbabwe Cultural Centre in Detroit, an organization which facilitates collaborative projects between artists living and working in Detroit, Michigan and artists living and working in the cities of Harare and Mutare in Zimbabwe.
Her latest project takes a look at the hairbrading salons which are a common sight in many African and African immigrant communities all over the world from Harlem to Harare to London. Starting June 3rd, Nontsikelelo Mutiti will begin work on Ruka (To braid/ to knit/ to weave) at the Recess arts space in New York. .According to Recess:
Over the course of her Session, Mutiti will play the role of the artist, designer, and researcher to a space for the study and practice of hair braiding. While documenting the practice and resulting visual forms, the artist will excavate the language and motifs associated with this method of adornment across traditional and contemporary contexts. From the space, the artist will chart new territory in her artistic research through teaching and learning hair braiding techniques. In partnership with hair braiding professionals as well as members of her own community (of family, friends and colleagues) she will generate and consolidate an archive of materials related to hair braiding salons including archival images, field photography, texts, transcripts of conversations, braiding instructions, combs, and Harlem hair braider business cards. In response to this gathered material, Mutiti will create a new installation of custom floor tiles, video, posters and ephemera using the hair braiding’s formal qualities of repetition and diagramming as a starting point.
For more information and to RSVP for an event visit Recess.