About

Billie Zangewa started drawing “fashion illustrations” at 10 years old and was already a fashion fanatic, reading Vogue magazine and watching Video Fashion Monthly religiously. She studied Graphics/ printmaking at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa and during this time her work explored cinematic narratives. After her studies, she returned to Gaborone where she first worked with oil pastels on a miniature scale. These pastels usually depicted women in glamourous situations.

As a natural progression, she then started to experiment with textiles, silk in particular, making handbags embellished with embroidery of flora and fauna indigenous to Botswana.

In 1997 she moved to Johannesburg where she spent a few years working in Fashion and Advertising, as she strove to find her artistic voice. The landscape of the Johannesburg CBD then became a source of inspiration and she began to do deconstructed interpretations onto her handbags.

In 2004 she won the Absa L’atelier Gerard Sekoto Award with a triptych of handbags depicting Jo’burg cityscapes called “Faith, Love and Hope”, a tribute to the city. This award propelled her back into the art world. Whilst working on the solo exhibition that was part of the award, she decided to transplant her silk works onto a two-dimensional surface which she then called silk tapestries although the technique is more appliqué.

She has also engaged in singing performance working under the name Billie Starr , and has had her songs published. In 2004 she was awarded the Most Stylish Person in South Africa at the annual Style Awards, as a result of this performance work.
Billie Zangewa has since exhibited her “silk tapestries” all over the world and continues to do so. She is currently living and working in Johannesburg.

Comments
6 Responses to “About”
  1. onyinye says:

    you are an inspiration

  2. Eweje Emmanuel Gbenga says:

    A friend shared your page to me. Love your works. Am also into textile.

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  4. Jennifer says:

    Hello, Ms. Zangewa,

    My name is Jen. I came across your silk tapestries and found them to be so deeply honest and familiar a scene as single, working mother and artist. I decided to share your work with my class in our collage unit along with that of Romare Bearden. We will be doing a compare and contrast of your themes, how you illustrate personal memories through “Collage” either on paper or as applique on tapestries and the unique imagery you choose to use to express ideas.

    It would be wonderful, if we could get in touch you and set a skype chat so that you can see our work, (which I promise to be inspirations, these kids are amazing!) and so that my students can make a meaningful and personal connection with you.

    If you are interested in me, my work and how we explore similar content in our own ways, please do check out my facebook artist page. Jennifer Strings: http://www.facebook.com/jenniferstringsart/

    Either way, much luck to you that you may continue to find inspiration and success in your personal journey through life.

    Best,
    Jen from NYC, NY

  5. christiana masucci says:

    Billie, I met you once at the Amaridian gallery in NYC and I own the Silk tapestry called the Bachelor which I and so many people love. I would love to add to my collection

  6. legrand95230 says:

    Hi Billie, I saw your work at the Art fair in Paris, and I find it very nice. Since I tried to contact you threw Afronova, but I had no answer…
    I may be interested by one of your pièces but I must know if I can aford it. Could you give me an idea of the price you ask,
    Thank you and bravo for your originalité,
    Jerome

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