BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
TWO young artists whose pieces scooped awards at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) after the opening of the New Signatures exhibition last week said they were inspired by critical national issues including the need for unity and investment.
NGZ’s School of Visual Arts and Design student Nomutsa Mukechi whose piece, Mawoko Matema, won the Best Sculpture award said lack of national unity hindered socio-economic transformation.
Mukechi, an 18-year-old national certificate student, said her piece, with hands tied with chains illustrates how Zimbabwe has suffered economically due to
“The four black hands tied with chain illustrate how the country’s citizens have become their own oppressors due to lack of unity. The economic challenges we
are facing are because we are divided, so the sculpture is an ironic call for unity,” she said.
“We need economic solutions from a united people. People need to set aside their political or whatever differences and work for the development of the nation.”
Twenty-year-old national diploma student Kundai Nathan said her piece, Imba Hombe, with its abandoned toilet seats and coloured-braided fabric, was a call to
nations to come and invest in Zimbabwe.
“A toilet is very important. I picked these disused toilet seats after realising that I can use them to represent Zimbabwe which looks to have been abandoned
by the international community. I then used braided-coloured fabric to depict how beautiful this country is for investment,” she said.
“The beautiful fabric is calling the international community to come and invest in Zimbabwe for it to experience an economic overhaul. As much as some members
of the international community shun Zimbabwe, this is one of the best lands for investment.”
Other exhibitors who were awarded certificates are Tafadzwa Tom (Best Painting), Luckmore Tashinga Majiri (Best Print Making), Tusi Kasito (Best Photographer)
and Blessing Kanyanga (Best Mixed Media).
NGZ chief curator Raphael Chikukwa was impressed by the young artists’ ability to tackle pertinent national issues.
The exhibition was curated by Valeria Sithole and radio personality Larry Kwirirai was the guest of honour at the opening.