by Keely Shinners
Lizette Chirrime is on a mission to heal us all. Her work, characterised by rich, hand-stitched recycled textiles weave together complex stories about trauma and reconciliation, ancestry and rebirth. Her simultaneous corporeal and abstract figures treat the body – as Chirrime specifies, the femme body – not as a site of exploitation, but mutability. But it’s not just about the artworks. There’s something restorative about Chirrime’s way of being-in-the-world. Perhaps it’s the space she creates for herself, so well-curated with objects holy and homemade. Perhaps it’s how she listens to the world around her, sensitive to the violence we continue to enact on the earth and each other, while refusing to tunnel into pessimism. Perhaps it’s the way she respects herself, speaking both candidly about her vulnerabilities and confidently about her life’s work.
Chirrime was kind enough to invite me into her home in Salt River to speak, over strawberries, about personal, political and spiritual healing.