Charlene Komuntale is a talented feminist digital artist and illustrator based in Kampala, Uganda. She recently presented her series “Not Fragile“, a series that highlights women, mainly black African women, using poetic and striking images to convey powerful and empowering messages.
Charlene Komuntale‘s works depict women’s heads covered with various elements that create poetic and touching narratives around the figure of the woman. At first glance, the digital paintings evoke a peaceful and dreamy atmosphere, but upon closer inspection, uncompromising messages emerge that challenge dominant patriarchal perspectives on women’s roles and the supposed capabilities associated with their bodies.
Using a juxtaposition of different elements, Charlene Komuntale creates an interesting asymmetry between women’s self-awareness and the patriarchal gaze of others. Instead of suggesting fragility, the digital paintings show intimacy, tenderness, vulnerability and feminine beauty linked to strength and self-confidence. By deconstructing patriarchal narratives as formed by culture, religion, and politics, Charlene Komuntale‘s digital paintings offer alternative visions of the future and a ground of inquiry to interrogate established social norms.
Charlene Komuntale‘s compositional choices create a space between reality and imagination, capturing moments frozen in time and filled with surreal elements and metaphorical and symbolic references.
Graduated in animation from the University of Limkokwing in Malaysia, Charlene Komuntale has participated in several art residency programs, including Silhouette Projects from March to June 2021 and The Mill in Adelaide, Australia in 2023. Her work has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions such as “Where the Wild Things are” at Afriart Gallery in 2022, Abu Dhabi Art, Investec Cape Town Art Fair, FNB Art Joburg, and the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London.