Artist: Mahawa Keita

The artist holds an abstract textile form.

BA Textiles
Birmingham City University

Mahawa is a textile artist.

Mahawa uses her textiles practice to connect with people and their stories in different communities, using her work to help raise awareness of the issues that affect them. She describes her practice as ‘a journey taken by yarn, structure, texture and colour.’ Mahawa works with sustainable materials across knit, crochet, macramé and hand embroidery to produce both large and small sculptural pieces. For her final major project, Mahawa produced a body of work that narrated the journey of her own life, focussing on her personal relationship with her mother, re-exploring their journey together and their emotional connection to one another.

The artist holds an abstract textile form.
The artist holds an abstract textile form.
The artist holds an abstract textile form.
An abstract textile form.

In:Site 2022

Mahawa is one of 20 artists who were selected to show their work at In:Site 2022. The event took place in spring 2022.
Find out more about the other artists.

Mahawa Keita’s project, More Than Passing Through, recognised that the Square is much more than a place to walk through on your way to somewhere else. With its important heritage and its offer of sanctuary, Mahawa’s collaborative, textile based sculpture encouraged people to feel a sense of ownership over this city centre communal space, and to celebrate the stories and connections that are made here.

A brightly coloured large crochet dome-like structure hangs on a railing.
A close up of some brightly coloured crochet

Where Next?

Artist: Rebecca Leek

Artist showcase.

A close-up section of a larger piece, made up of overlaid abstract shapes in red, blue, and yellow. This is a mixed media piece, comprised of print, embroidery, stitchwork and painting.

Artist: Lucy Ralph

Artist showcase.

A visual and textual informational poster of a young woman wearing a white polo shirt and blue jeans, both of which have been fixed by visible repair through patchworks of red, blue and white fabric scraps. Overlaid onto this photo are the phrases ‘PATCH IT’, ‘Dads old jeans’ and ‘Old school polo’.

Artist: Lola Awolowo

Artist showcase.

A painted, and embroidered portrait of a blue-eyed Black woman, on a background of collaged book pages. Her face is circular and tilted and she has short black hair. Her necklace and earrings are beads embroidered onto the piece’s surface. Her outline has been stitched in yellow thread.

Artist: Katy Gillam-Hull

Artist showcase.

A hand holding a green glass bead between the thumb and forefinger in front of a blurred house and tree.


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