Vibrant colour and bold text combine in Lakwena Maciver’s joyful and gently subversive work. Her paintings, murals and installations often reference everyday shared experiences and popular culture, such as songs, fashion and basketball. Bringing messages of hopeful possibility, Lakwena speaks to points of connection and commonality between people, with a utopian vision that dreams of redemption and liberation. In the Acholi language of northern Uganda her name aptly means ‘messenger of the chief’.
Lakwena’s new paintings and textile works will transform The Weston Gallery into an immersive and colourful environment through the grey winter months, using dazzling hues and concise phrases to communicate powerful concepts. The artist has taken inspiration from YSP’s landscape and particularly the 18th-century ha-has – concealed walled ditches that were built to stop livestock straying into the gardens without the need for visible fences. Simultaneous with the ha-has’ construction, the 18th/19th century Enclosure Acts dramatically changed the configuration of land in this country, removing ‘commoners’ access, placing it in private ownership and demarcating it with partitions. Lakwena uses these historic ideas to comment on how in today’s society, despite the illusion of openness, public speech and public space are increasingly tightly controlled by a privileged elite.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
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