HomeLife & StyleA female sculptor’s colourful journey

A female sculptor’s colourful journey

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A local female sculptor, Charity “Cherrie” Bandason, who has broken through various barriers in the world of sculpture, will be the only Zimbabwean and only female sculptor amongst over 120 artists taking part in the Koku 2012 exhibition in Rheinehessen, Germany, in April.

The exhibition is a platform for artists from all over the world to showcase their areas of specialisation such as photography, sculpture, theatre, music, dance, literature, performance poetry and handicrafts.

“I’m so honoured to be taking part in this prestigious exhibition. It is by the grace of God. I was invited by the project visionary Lisa Winter,” said Cherrie.

She said the exhibition would be a channel for more exposure and has 20 pieces priced between €300 and €3 000 for the exhibition.

Cherrie said it was agonising that there were always great opportunities for various local sculptors to exhibit overseas yet many failed to grab the chances due to lack of sponsorship.

“My greatest grievance is how much local investors don’t even realise the worth of our work. If there was enough financial support lots of money would be invested into the country while at the same time uplifting the industry,” she said.

Cherrie, who is an administrator at Givers Investments, a family company, said she was very grateful to the family members in the business who were sponsoring her trip.

She said life had not been easy since her husband passed away in 2010.

“My late husband stood by me and helped me make a sculpture that put me on the map in 2008. We made it for American multimillionaire Christopher Garner when we got in touch with him after learning about his movie The Pursuit of Happyness, which features Will Smith,” said Cherrie.

Cherrie said after watching an emotional interview featuring Smith and Gardner on an Oprah Winfrey episode, she was touched and decided to send Gardner an e-mail commending him for the movie and telling him about her art.

She said the movie maker responded by sending her a book and DVD with a story after which she was requested to make a sculpture piece.

“When I finished making the human-size soapstone figure of a man carrying his son and sent it to him he was overjoyed and requested to meet me in Sun City, South Africa, that same year. I could not go because I had just given birth to my last son Evan and was unfit to travel and my husband had to go alone.”

She said her themes were influenced by her children, nature and other day-to-day experiences.

Cherrie began sculpting in 1994 at the Mukaera Art Village in Guruve. She now works from her Waterfalls home while she resides in Arcadia with her children.

She has exhibited in Europe and also organised exhibitions for the Tengenenge Arts community’s young artists until 1999. In 2003, she organised a successful exhibition in Germany which attracted more than 11 000 visitors.

The exhibition had other local participants including her role model Maudi Mariga, (widow of the late renowned sculptor Joram Mariga), Enos Gunja, Tom Bloemfield, Ben Joosten and Roy Guthrie.

“I have worked with a number of artists, from Mudhindo Art Village, Tengenenge and Chitungwiza Art Centre and these include Edmore Sango, Maikos Mapuranga, Saint Bynos, the late Queen Sango and Takemore Gengezha amongst others,” she said.

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