Shamilla Aasha
Blindness part1, 2021
Sewing patterns. Ink, fabric and thread
74cm x 56cm


“I don't think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see.” José Samarago (Blindness) For me, the point of departure for this project was Blindness by José Samarago...and then sometime soon after reading this book...the looting in South Africa happening....and I was like...I've watched this movie... The theme of Darwin’s evolutionary drawings also became a touchstone for thoughts about the process of evolution in human society and actually watching and feeling the impact of the evolutionary process... So these works are about time a space of change, a space where you can look back in history and look for into a future....and in many ways coming to a melancholy realisation that humans as a species have added nothing to the growth of the planet...and not too much in our own growth despite the attempts...


Shamilla Aasha is a practicing artist and teacher of art and design. Born in Hwange Zimbabwe in 1977. She was raised and educated in Bulawayo, and eventually obtained a Diploma in Textile Design from the Bulawayo School of Art and Design in 2000. After a sabbatical from professional painting Shamilla emerged in 2018 with a mature body of work. In this work, she confidently shares her multi-cultural background as her narratives show a growing confidence in addressing issues elated to merging cultures and traditional practices and how they influence identity, spirituality and social status for herself and the women in her community. Traditionally a mixed media painter, Shamilla now leans towards textile art, in the form of soft sculptures wall-hangings made from found objects. She describes them as sacred objects, a fitting metaphor for her narratives. This metaphor is further expanded on, as she uses sewing patterns, fabric and stitching. This process allows her to create new patterns from the old and with each layer creating a palmistry language. Since her re-emergence Shamilla has participated in numerous exhibitions locally regionally and internationally. She is currently part of an ongoing, regional collaborative project, which is interrogating the participation of women in land redistribution in Southern Africa. Although out of the formal education system Shamilla continues to nurture creativity minds through her trust- Asha Children’ Trust – an organisation whose passion lies in creating safe spaces for young creatives grow and thrive.