VISITING London-based artist, Philip Butler yesterday opened his exhibition of a collection of artworks he did from March as the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) resident artist.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
Butler, who has been a resident at the NGZ in Bulawayo since March will present Izdrotsho — a Ndebele song for drawing commonly used by artists when they refer to drawing or life drawing class and Facing Zimbabwe among other artworks.
In a statement, Butler said Zimbabwe is probably one of the most fascinating places he has visited.
“The residency programme has been instrumental in helping me to see work in a social and political context. Working in the studio has given me a chance to focus on problems in my own practice (the development of a creative and technical approach) coupled with thinking about my personal agendas,” he said.
He said his networking with local artists has been a source of inspiration.
“My contact with the many artists in Zimbabwe has been a source of inspiration and an opportunity to work with them in both formal and informal settings. Teaching life drawing and portraiture allowed me an opportunity to reflect on how art education compares and contrasts with my experiences from home, especially in the context of enquiry,” he said.
“From someone who has collected sketches in personal travel journals, my time here has enabled me to explore the whole notion of work as a process of ‘exhibiting’, which has been interesting and not something that comes naturally to me. Facing Zimbabwe is a collection of my own work in progress, but will also include works from other artists and poets that I have been collaborating with. I have relished this opportunity and appreciate the support I have received and hope this show reflects this.”
The NGZ assistant curator, Cliford Zulu paid condolences to Butler who lost his mother while in resident.
“On behalf of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, we sincerely want to pass our heartfelt condolences to Philip who lost his mother while in residency and had the courage to soldier on while mourning, so please help us to celebrate these two exhibitions realised through the residency,” he said.
The exhibition will end on August 17.