Leginah Ndabambi is a Zimbabwean artist who has supported herself and her extended family through embroidery work for over thirty years. She is a leading artist in the Heartworks Stitching Women’s Collective, based in Cape Town, South Africa. With the devastating impact of the COVID pandemic throughout the world, Leginah wished to create narrative tapestries of hope, connection, and women’s collective strength. From her phone, she followed Amanda Gorman’s poetry performance at the 2021 presidential inauguration in the United States. The words and magnanimous presence of this young American artist inspired Leginah to create a series of embroidered tapestries that captured the words and images evoked by this historic moment. As a grandmother from Zimbabwe, Leginah wanted to share the story of Amanda Gorman, as a model for young women throughout Africa.
Jennifer Fish, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, has loaned nine pieces from her collection of these original tapestries, acquired in South Africa in 2022. The exhibition will also feature a short film on the artist, at work in her home, as she discusses the impact of Amanda Gorman on her art and hope for collective upliftment through words and visual stories.