Wyssolela Moreira, born in Luanda, lives and works between Toronto, Canada and Luanda, Angola as a multidisciplinary artist, and art director.
Her artistic and experimental practice uses mixed-media collage, writing, photography, installation, video art, and performance to explore the complexities of a Self influenced by neo-colonial normativity. She works at the intersection of art and spirituality, and centers the deconstruction of colonial inheritance pertaining to the body, identity, space, belief, and health. She also uses her work to hold space for marginalized experiences, challenge existing narratives about Africanism/Blackness, and highlight the social realities of gender and human rights inequality.
Wyssolela is a 2016 recipient of the Viola Desmond Award, and has had the opportunity to exhibit her work internationally in collective exhibitions, video and film festivals, artist residencies, and cultural events.
She is currently the 2023 artist in residence at LAPA, Brixton, Johannesburg working in collaboration with fellow Angolan artist Anita Sambanje. The artists, working as a duo, wish to use their time at LAPA to explore the notion of rituals of passage, which led them to thinking about life cycles and transitions, and the role of the Dikenga Cosmogram to map the journey of an individual’s life. Their research at LAPA is based on traditional and contemporary rituals of passage and healing within Africa, with focus on spiritual systems from the ancient region of the Bakongo. Being in South Africa, the artists will consider spiritual practices in the region to build and compare healing practices.
In the last year, Wyssolela has contributed her work in “Casa Muviment Vent Curação, Catchupa Factory, Artist Residency, Mindelo, Cape Verde, 2022”; “Kimba Sec – Modernidade Fantasma, Jahmek Contemporary Art Gallery, Luanda, Angola, 2022”; “Unlayered, Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, Hawick, Scotland, 2022” a work of video art that discovers and articulates the plural and shapeshifting ways in which being and place interconnect; “Pathways to Ancestral Knowledge, MakeRoom Inc, Toronto, Canada, 2022” a group exhibition that looks at loss and remembrance through a Black lens where artists were encouraged to create art that both informs and is inspired by the cultural practices of remembering our ancestors. Her solo exhibition “Prosopagnosia, Elinga Teatro, Luanda, Angola, 2019” using collage as a medium addressed Angolan identity and the effects of colonization on contemporary beauty standards while it encouraged the audience to think about their ethnic ancestry.