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Linnet Panashe RUBAYA

(Harare, Zimbabwe, 1991)



Winner of the Saul Hay emerging artist award (2021), Linnet Panashe Rubaya (b. 1991, Harare, Zimbabwe) is a self-taught British-Zimbabwean figurative artist based in Leeds. Born in Harare and raised in London, Rubaya studied Biomedical Science (BSc) at the University of Brighton and moved to Leeds to work as a Software Test Analyst. 


The Black female identity along with the  diverse multiethnic and multicultural melting pot of London is central to Linnet’s practice as she draws from her experiences and conversations to create predominantly acrylic paintings that emanate relatability and radiate emotional and intimate engagement with otherwise marginalised Black subjects. 

Rubaya’s works aim to inspire, empower and educate observers: “You are important, and your story is important. Your story means you choose the tone and invent the language you use to say who you are and what you mean. But you are not just your story, you are your potential fulfilled.”


Linnet’s geographical, literary and creative influences stretch across multiple perspectives. She builds on the figurative work produced by Kerry James Marshall and Barkley L Hendricks, and Amy Sherald, creating a style that is distinct and uniquely hers. 


Artists and cinematographers such as Alma Thomas, Zhao Xiaoding and Christopher Doyle have influenced her use of colour as language. Deviating from her earlier work, Linnet has sought to depict the vibrancy and beauty of the world despite the expectation of misery. Her work echoes Alma Thomas who stated, “Through colour, I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness rather than man’s inhumanity to man.”

Linnet has been shortlisted for several awards including UK Young Artist of the Year (2019) (now known as UK New Artist of the Year), Bridgman Studio Award  (2019), and Art Harare Africa First Prize (2020).




INVIOLABLE: JOY as a for of RESISTANCE at Saul Hay Gallery, Manchester, UK



Shanduko, Osart Gallery, Milan

HYSTERICAL, no format Gallery, London, UK  

New Lights, Northern Lights 10 year retrospective. Saul Hay Gallery



NEW LIGHT PRIZE EXHIBITION: Shining A light on Northern light at Scarborough Art gallery, Scarborough, UK

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