Elizabeth Kwant lives and works in Manchester. She is the Founder and Curator at Zellij Arts, an artist led project exhibiting the work of emerging artists from The Middle East, North Africa and diaspora. Recent exhibitions include; Across the Seas (Sam Scorer Gallery, Lincoln, 2018), IWAYA Community Arts Festival, (Lagos, Nigeria, 2017), Mediterranea at DOK Artist Space, (Leith Docks, Edinburgh, 2017) In Nothing Flat (group exhibition curated by Mark Devereux Projects, Manchester, 2017) and Framing the Crisis (System Gallery, Newcastle curated by Vault Collective 2017.) Kwant was one of 12 artists selected for Studiobook, an artist development programme produced by Mark Devereux Projects. Her work was also selected for The Greater Manchester Contemporary Arts Prize (2017). She has been the recipient of two Seedbed grants (2015 & 2017). Kwant works with video, photography, sound, performance and screen printing.
Kwant’s work investigates contemporary geo-political issues; migration, immigration, displacement and representation. She has produced and participated in a number of socially engaged arts projects with refugees and asylum seekers in partnership with local organisations. Underpinning her practice is a process of rigorous research, involving both archive material and a journalistic approach to the documentation of human stories. Recent projects include Tracing Presence (2012-2013) a year long artist residency produced in partnership with The Mustard Tree and The Boaz Trust Manchester, in which the artist responded to female asylum seekers by painting a series of life size portraits commenting upon the exclusion of the women from society. Mediterranea (2016- 2017) critically engaged with media representations the ‘European migrant crisis’ through a series of screen prints, in which tensions and paradoxes surrounding the crisis were allowed to playfully co-exist through the multi-layered display of the work and their ambiguous titles. More recently, In Transit (2017- ongoing), in which the artist embodies migrants stories and performs these in site specific locations; in the port of Algeciras Spain, a shipping container site in the UK, and a stately home in Derbyshire. The work makes reference not only to the harsh physicality of the journeys attempted by refugees and migrants but also the historical factors, which have contributed to the legacy of global migration. Kwant plans to perform the next instalment of In-Transit in the port of Tangier, Morocco, thus completing the work on both sides of the Straits of Gibraltar – marking the primary western migration route in the Mediterranean.
To learn more visit her website at www.elizabethkwant.com