Helena Uambembe was born in Pomfret, South Africa to Angolan parents who fled the civil war. The 32 Battalion, Pomfret, and the artist’s Angolan heritage are dominant themes in Uambembe’s work, in which she explores narratives surrounding history and place, interweaving connected symbols and archival material.
Uambembe was one of Bag Factory’s three 2019 David Koloane Award winners. In addition to her own practice, Uambembe is a member of the collective Kutala Chopeto, alongside partner Teresa Kutala Firmino. Uambembe has recently presented PIM PAM PUM, a new body of installation work looking at childhood and memory in the landscape of Pomfret, at the NWU Gallery (North West University) on the Potchefstroom Campus.