GUESTS at the ongoing International Conference on African Cultures at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare yesterday witnessed the seamless blending of art through a combination of a traditional Ndebele chant, spoken word poetry and mbira.
BY TINASHE MUCHURI
The presentation done by local artists Elizabeth “Zaza” Muchemwa and Izwi also included installations, photography and painting.
Dineo Seshee Bopape from South Africa had an installation titled Mavhu, Ivhu, Pasi showcased alongside the work of local photographer, Nyanzombe Nyamupenza. Bopape said her installation was informed by a family story about birth and death.
Artworks by Idah Muluneh from Ethiopia, Mulenga J. Mulenga, Ogopuleni Kgomoethata from Botswana, Mario Macilau from Mozombique, Petersen Kamwathi from Kenya and Zimbabwean artists Terence Musekiwa, Masimba Hwati and Virginia Chihota were also on display.
Guests were invited to walk around the gallery as they enjoying the performance by the poets.
“It was an enlightening experience, seeing how art forms can feed into each other and how much an image can encapsulate so many ideas and thoughts. There is power in collaboration,” Muchemwa said.
Local artist, Cynthia “Flowchild” Marangwanda said Bopape’s installation challenged her creativity.
“It was a new experience that challenged me creatively and pushed my boundaries as a poet in a positive way,” she said, adding that she discovered the connectedness of the values and ideas in Africa.
NGZ curator Raphael Chikukwa told NewsDay that the gallery’s collaboration with the British Council — which brought a diverse group of artists from across Africa —and London’s Tyban Gallery has paid dividends.
Participants during the discussion following the exhibition were taken on a tour of local artists’ studios, the Visual Arts School in Mbare, Village Unehu in Milton Park and Admire Mudzengerere’s studio in Seke, Chitungwiza.