The National Gallery of Zimbabwe recently opened a solo exhibition titled “Letter to God” by Munyaradzi Mazarire.
The solo show is an artistic response to contemporary society’s quest for righteousness.
“This quest is characterised by religious and traditional diversity that has continually inspired people to redefine their identities to match the changing times and become acceptable for peace, love and harmony to prevail,” said Mazarire.
He said the belief in a Creator and in is life after death enabled good moral values to prevail.
The exhibition features mixed media artworks presented as symbols that represent prayers by different religious or traditional societies.
“Prayer replaces the negative with positivity, inspiring our hearts towards wisdom and compassion. Prayer enriches our lives with spiritual connection, transforming confusion into understanding, making every moment in life important,” he said.
Mazarire said prayer also promoted peace, love and harmony through good conduct among humanity in all religious and traditional beliefs.
Gallery communications officer Rutendo Mutadzapasi said the mixed media objects featured were a visual reference that inspired Mazarire to celebrate Buddhism, Hinduism, Rastafarianism, Islam, Christianity as well as ubuntu/hunhu (decent moral values) with particular reference to the Shona tradition.
“The artist demonstrates his two and three-dimensional artistic conventions, creating a unique visual vocabulary for visual excitement,” she said.
Mutadzapasi said Shona forms of prayer revealed strong bonds of social unity and gender values. Women, family and friends play significant roles and they are acknowledged in recitals.
She said this revealed how important social unity was for people to achieve higher levels of consciousness.
A series of Shona letters written to God in this exhibition highlighted the significant need for positivity, social harmony, peace and love.
“Mazarire represents an established young group of artists that are boldly asserting their practice by projecting unique and experimental references,” said exhibition curator Raphael Chikukwa.
He said it was a thought-provoking body of work which was able to engage various art audiences.