Mafalda Vasconcelos uses art as a way of exploring her biracial identity and the different cultural influences in her life. Born in South Africa and growing up in Mozambique, there is an evidence of the influence of African art through Mafalda’s visual work. The artist developed a unique artistic style which has a contemporary theme and aesthetic, inspired by her culture and identity. Now residing in Melbourne, Mafalda continues to explore the female figure and soul, through a multicultural lens and with some fashion elements.

 

The inspiration behind Mafalda's work is symbolism and spiritualism based in Mozambican culture. The artworks she creates are based on souls rather than real human figures, representing her ancestors from the Nharinga people in the north of Mozambique. The stylised and symbolic features that suggest human form and express strong human emotions. Souls are similar to spirits; they transport our energy and emotion and so Mafalda explores that in her art. Using often dark figures, she portrays the souls of the women who have raised her and inspire her every day. These female figures are also a reference to the Divine Feminine that Mafalda’s Matriarchal background symbolises but also an allegory of Africa. The colourful geometrical shapes and symbols are a language that Mafalda has developed through exploring the visual elements in African art and in her own mixed and diverse background.