i sit silently when I have nothing to vent about then play some music and begin .
Born in the Eastern Cape, Yolanda is a self-taught artist expressing herself with paint and brush. Her work circulates around mental illness, popular culture phobias, relationships and storytelling. Her artistic expression falls somewhere between abstract expressionism and neo-expressionism with a heavy reliance on symbolism. Through her work and art, Yolanda Mazwana investigates the hypochondriac as a figure.
Her solo show: Symptoms of Nothing (2019), which took place at Kalashnikovv Gallery, became a simulator of experiences, scenarios, thoughts, panic attacks and environments that were shaped into characters, those depicting the hypochondriac. In Symptoms of Nothing, Yolanda uses colour and texture to mimic the intense experiences of a person suffering from hypochondria. This symbolic use of colour and texture speak to the idea that the hypochondriac is not necessarily aware of what exactly it is they are experiencing and why. In this regards, Symptoms of Nothing, becomes an extension of Yolanda’s first solo exhibition at Daville Baillie Gallery, titled Secret Homegirls (2019).
“I paint unusual formative characters to connect the dots about the questions I have in my mind [around] the female body and what it goes through. I vent about the vulnerabilities of the mind, the emotions, the…reproductive system and how our physical and physiological [responses] to trauma affects us. How our bodies respond to medications and the things that go misdiagnosed, the things that go dismissed and forgotten, the things we have to protect ourselves from. The things we choose to keep hidden to be healed and protected.”
In these words one could say Yolanda expresses an unhappiness with modern medicinal technologies and in a way asks for a natural response to such difficulties.
In closing the artists shares her current mode of making with me, “during lockdown I have been making illustrations according to my insomnia and the overwhelming thoughts that go through my mind. I have been looking at each piece as a study some works are subtle and others are strong. But they all reflect a story only told after midnight”.