Liona R. Nyariri was born in Harare, Zimbabwe and received an MFA in Fine Art from Parsons The New School of Design in New Year and a BA in Fine Art from Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town.
Nyariri’s practice explores the ways in which Pidgin languages are created with a specific focus on Pidgins that came from former Anglophone Southern African colonies.
Nyariri uses mythology and speculative fiction to explore this theme with a strong engagement with the written and oral traditions of Southern Africa.
Her work has been presented at the AC Institute, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Participant Inc Gallery, Long Island City Art Fair, Gallery Momo, Young Blood Gallery, AVA Gallery and others. Nyariri completed a residency with Artist Alliance in New York (2018) and was a fellow at the Whitney Museum’s ISP Program (Independent Study Program 2016-2017).
She is the recipient of The Real Art Award (2018), the ABSA Art and Life Award (2013) as well as a top finalist for the Sasol New Signatures Award (2014). Nyariri is currently completing a fellowship at the Braunschweig University of Art in Germany.
Liona R. Nyariri is featured in the Zeitz MOCAA exhibition, Still Here Tomorrow To High Five You Yesterday (2019).