Artist

Mafalda Vasconcelos

Mafalda Vasconcelos was born in South Africa but grew up in Mozambique. Mafalda's work is inspired by the symbolism and spiritualism of her Mozambican culture. Her process is about spiritual self-discovery, identity, cultural exploration but also about love and admiration for ancestry and womanhood. Her art is not just a spiritual quest but also a way of exploring emotions and how they relate to identity.

“My mother and her family are from the Nharinga ethnic group from the north of Mozambique. This was a very small ethnic group and due to assimilation, most of their culture was lost and not documented. My own family has no relation to this culture apart from a few beliefs and spiritual practices that they still use. By creating visual stories through portraits, I try to fill in the gaps of who my ancestors were and what they believed in and inform my identity based on this narrative."

She studied Fashion and Design at the University of Westminster and gained an MA in Fashion Entrepreneurship. After years of working in fashion, she decided to pursue her artistic career and passion. She has had several solo-shows in Australia where she currently lives, and has collaborated with brands such as Sony, ASAP Mob (A$AP Rocky's Recording Label) and Song of Style (Aimee Song).

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Mafalda's Style

"My work is based on the theory behind masks in my culture. Each mask represents a soul and spirit of an ancestor and is called upon during a ritual to bring a specific energy to the land. When I create, I follow the same principle - the act of painting or drawing a head or face is an allegory for wearing that face or mask during a ritual."

 

The theme of duality is present throughout her works and is based on personal experience. "My own duality comes from the idea that I am made of two opposing realities. My father was from a very wealthy and high family from Portugal, but my mother was from a very poor family in Mozambique. My father was born in a castle in Porto, surrounded by housemaids and influential family members. My mother was the oldest out of her 5 siblings and had to start working at 9 years old to help support her brothers and sisters - she went to school barefoot because she had no shoes to wear. 

 

My duality comes from my ethnicity as well. I am both white and black, as I reflect on what it is like to be either it becomes clear that one informs the other. The idea that an opposing concept exists gives meaning to the other. Being mixed-race or duality itself, is complex. It requires a constant negotiation between beliefs and my understanding of the world. It is a bridge from one reality to another. The way duality exists in my work is in the difference between my painting and my drawings or digitally transformed work. My paintings are simple, with muted tones and minimal lines and my drawings are more colourful and layered."

 

"My work consists of female busts, heads or faces whose features are abstracted into colourful geometric shapes and lines. Each bust or head represents a spirit or a soul, that transports human emotion." - Mafalda Vasconcelos

Drop 3 - Summer 2021

“A name can be an unspoken bond. It can be an integral part of one’s Identity, a part that transcends the constructs of race and class. Maria is a common name used throughout Portugal and was adopted in colonial Mozambique, especially after the Virgin Mary’s apparition in Fatima, Portugal. It has since gained its own identity in culture, almost independent of religion in post-colonial Mozambique.

Maria is the name we use to call girls or women whose name we don’t know; “ó Maria”. It can be compared to “Jane Doe” in English. We are all Marias, we are all Holy figures. Maria is my second name and most of the women in my family carry that name. The name is an identity itself that has allowed women to connect to each other through this unspoken bond. It connects us to each other even if we are unknown. Our names carry the same meaning and so it is hoped that our lives will too. As Marias is a collection of portraits dedicated to the Mozambican Marias, to the diversity of my country and the strong bond I feel towards all Mozambican women." - Mafalda Vasconcelos, As Marias

Drop 2 - Spring 2021

"The inspiration behind this collection was an emotion and moment of stillness I experienced. Painting portraits is a way of preserving that moment of stillness through a face other than my own. Looking at the collection as a whole feels like looking in the mirror, but instead of seeing my face, I see abstracted faces of strangers that fill me with joy and wonder. What are they trying to tell me?" - Mafalda Vasoncelos, Portraits

  • Hawa Sold
    Hawa | Mafalda Vasconcelos | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions
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  • Melba Sold
    Melba | Mafalda Vasconcelos | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions
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  • Neyda Sold
    Neyda | Mafalda Vasconcelos | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions
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  • Nilda Sold
    Nilda | Mafalda Vasconcelos | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions
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  • Moira Sold
    Moira | Mafalda Vasconcelos | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions
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  • Kianga Sold
    Kianga | Mafalda Vasconcelos | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions
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  • Lucrecia Sold
    Lucrecia | Mafalda Vasconcelos | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions
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  • Sarita Sold
    Sarita | Mafalda Vasconcelos | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions
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  • Amina Sold
    Amina | Mafalda Vasconcelos | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions
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Drop 5 - Winter 2020

"I have been thinking about heavenly figures lately, they represent mainly the connection between life and death. Breaking away from the traditional depiction of angels, in my interpretation, angels are the purest form of human emotion." - Mafalda Vasconcelos, Angel Faces

  • Face Study 10 Sold
    Face Study 10 | Mafalda Vasconcelos | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions
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  • Angel Sold
    Angel | Mafalda Vasconcelos | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions
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  • Face Study 8 Sold
    Face Study 8 | Mafalda Vasconcelos | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions
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  • Face Study 9 Sold
    Face Study 9 | Mafalda Vasconcelos | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions
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    £310.00
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  • Face Study 11 Sold
    Face Study 11 | Mafalda Vasconcelos | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions
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Duality

Being two opposing things, feeling two opposite feelings is like being at a crossroads. One doesn’t cancel out each other but they give each other a defining concept and meaning. “Remove day or night, or dry or wet, and everything falls down” Can duality be balance or is it just chaos? - Mafalda Vasconcelos

Prints

  • Ibis Cossa Sold
    Ibis Cossa | Mafalda Vasconcelos | Giclee Print | Partnership Editions
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  • Acacia Langa Sold
    Acacia Langa | Mafalda Vasconcellos | Giclee Print | Partnership Editions
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