THE National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) has taken strides in promoting and uniting Zimbabwean women in visual art through an exhibition that will showcase female visual artists working in all mediums.
By Tinashe Sibanda
NGZ works together with the European Union (EU) on the project.
Dubbed Woman on Top, the show is a tribute to this year’s International Women’s Day which falls on March 8.
The gallery is currently urging interested parties to respond to the call by handing in three to four digital images of relevant artworks.
“This exhibition will stand out as a statement that there are a lot of (female) Zimbabwean artists who are able to tackle things that have been done mainly by men,” NGZ Curator for Education, Tandazani Dhlakama, who will be curating the exhibition together with NGZ executive director Doreen Sibanda, said.
The exhibition is expected to go beyond merely looking at the repeatedly-stated universal and local challenges that women face, but instead celebrates the strengths and accomplishments that women have achieved in spite of the various difficulties.
Dhlakama said they were hoping to make the exhibition an annual feature and this year, they were targeting about 35 works by various female sculptors, photographers, printmakers and craftswomen among many others.
“The NGZ has in previous years tried to host such exhibitions that mainly showcase and uplift women, particularly from 1994 to 1998.
“The last one was held after a lapse of 11 years due to lack of funds. We are hoping to carry it on as an annual showcase with the help of the EU,” she said.
Dhlakama said participants would be targeted from various provinces including the popular Binga baskets, and other works by the Honde Valley Craftswomen and the Weya women from Rusape.
She said they were also happy to have other up-and-coming artists in visual art who had already shown much interest in the exhibition including Eva Raath — a printmaker, Nancy Mteki — a photographer, Mercy Moyo — a painter and Doris Kampira — a multimedia artist, among others.
“In theory, it would sound as if the local visual arts industry has equal opportunities as the international industry, but practically, locally they have to juggle a whole lot more than that and those that have made it are certainty exceptional,” she said.