Dora Prévost at Pan-African Parliament Women’s Conference, November 2022. Images courtesy of PAP Media

A Congolese sculptor based in South Africa, Dora Prévost, is using her work as a voice for women’s issues. Ms. Prévost’s art focuses on breaking the silence around Gender-Based Violence (GBV), and the injustices that women face today as well as expressing and celebrating the complex experiences of being a woman in the 21st century.

Dora Prevost wows PAP MPs as she presents sculptures at PAP Women’s Conference. Image from Twitter/@Afrikparliament

At the beginning of November, the month in which the world celebrates 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, Ms. Prévost was invited to present her work at the 13th Pan-African Parliament Conference on Women’s Rights. Prevost stated that art is a very powerful catalyst that may spark dialogue, especially regarding very sensitive and uncomfortable issues.

“I stand before you so that together we can speak out, share and raise our voices for women in the fight against GBV. Let’s not keep quiet. We are those women, they are our grandmothers, our mothers, our sisters, and our daughters. Let’s help our daughters to grow up in an environment without constant fear for their safety. I am today claiming the right to freedom and safety that are inherent to every person so that we all have to put our hands together and fight this scourge”, said Ms. Prévost.

Speaking in an earlier interview with, Dora Prévost said her work ‘Who-Men’ demonstrate the fragility and vulnerability through contrasts and strong oppositions.

“A good example of this can be seen in ‘Who-Men’, a work I produced for the PPC Imaginarium competition in 2018. It depicted four women suffering from different types of violence, moral or physical, in quite an arresting way. It was shortlisted to the finals and went on a tour across South African galleries, so I think it was quite effective,” said Ms. Prevost.

Entirely self-taught, Dora Prevost grew up in a family of artists and musicians and found her success world of sculptural art. Prevost has made waves in the art scene even catching the attention of a number of art prizes, including her 2018 PPC Imaginarium Awards win and being listed as one of the 2019 Emerging Artists with Design Indaba. She has also designed sculptures for sporting organizations such as the South African Rugby Tens Championships 2022 trophy.

Dora Prevost holding the Rugby tens championships 2022 trophy she designed. Image from Twitter/@DoraPrevost

Speaking on her latest work ‘Metamorphosis’, Provost aims to raise awareness around the risk of women becoming superficial and forgetting about the essentials in the contemporary world constantly under pressure from social media.

Dora Prevost’s ‘Metamorphosis’. Image cred:

“While beauty is something we all desire or aspire to, we should never become the victim of our own delusions. Metamorphosis was born when I was trying to remove a cast from the mold — she was stuck and I tried, by all means, to remove it until I finally understood that my artwork was sending me a message, it was a difficult birth. I left the cast in the mold and gave it a chance to be transformed into a beautiful sculpture with elegant horns and a golden face full of hope. The process I went through reminded me of a Metamorphosis, thus the name I used”.

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