AN English international artist Delaine Le Bas who is exhibiting her work at the National Gallery has commended the people of Zimbabwe for being peaceful, hospitable and respectful.
Addressing journalists in the capital last week Le Bas said she was overwhelmed by the reception she received in the country at the currently running Basket Case Harare Art Conversations, where she is exhibiting her basket portrait of Queen Victoria.
“Zimbabweans are generally hospitable people who are peaceful and hard working. I really enjoyed working with the people of this country especially those from Binga Craft Centre who helped me with my artwork,” she said.
She pointed out that Zimbabweans are unlike the English people who are still stuck with the Victorian attitude of intolerance.
“England is still stuck with a Victorian attitude of intolerance and viewing other shades of races with suspicion,
“The people I, however, met in this country are tolerant, hospitable and hardworking, which is highly commendable.” Le Bas said.
Quizzed on the theme of her artwork Hear Her Roar, in reference to the basketry portrait of Queen Victoria she pointed out that it’s a legacy from history which we need to deal with.
“We cannot forget what happened, we cannot forget history. Though what happened is painful we need to move on and try to live together. The concept of the Queen roaring has got to do with attitude.
“At times you need to roar in order for people to hear; otherwise they may fail to hear your message,” she said.
She added that her artwork has got to do with equality among races.“My artwork is about empowerment, equality and education. It is about bridging gaps so that we all understand each other,” she said.
The Harare Basket Case was officially opened on Friday with five international artists to exhibit their work including Zimbabwe’s artist Tapfumanei Gutsa.