BY SHARON SIBINDI
NATIONAL Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) in Bulawayo will from today host a two-man exhibition titled Rococo that runs untill July 29.
The Rococo exhibition by resident and independent artists Talent Kapadza and Damiantee Patel, respectively is part of the gallery’s effort to develop a curatorial practice in Bulawayo.
NGZ assistant curator for Bulawayo, Cliford Zulu said in this exhibition, multi-award-winning Kapadza would showcase his traditional Pollock-inspired, dip and splash technique.
“In 2019, we saw Kapadza detaching lines and colour to a simplified technique of drawing lines and painting, finding new ways to present his work on a stretched canvas, yet they would look dazzling on paper behind glass.
“For Damiantee, who was being mentored by Kapadza over the years, this is the moment she has been waiting for, to interface with visitors making comments to her work,” said Zulu.
Zulu said although the exhibition was not balanced in terms of style, the key message was that two artists of different ages, backgrounds and styles were showcasing a variety of works in all forms in one space defying all expectations for an exhibition at a national gallery.
“To us, Rococo is bold and experimental work which we have always wanted to show for a while as it breaks norms and challenges the visitor and local practitioners to see art differently,” he said.
“A walk through the exhibition from the big Marshal Baron Gallery into the small galleries, one gets the sense of wanting to go back and forth because the mind is all over the space, dysfunction takes centre stage as strange as this might sound it is deliberate.”
Zulu said COVID-19 had been a real hellhole for many visual artists and yet Kapadza and Patel managed to put together artworks during the pandemic, taking advantage of the lockdown.
“Most of the work here is inviting especially after a long spell of inactivity, it reveals the virtuosity by the artists.
“Patel’s work has so much more grace and beauty, while Kapadza’s lines are as strong and unerring, fresh and cheerful,” he said.
Patel, a multi-linguist, visual artist and practitioner, who is more comfortable working with acrylics, oil colour among others, said her artworks represented the colour of her daily environment, the people, the beauty of nature and positive spiritual understanding of her true being.
Kapadza, who is also founder of Z-Imba-Bwe national academies of arts in Zimbabwe, said his artworks depicted the abstract nature of the airwaves, the spiritual realm, the connection, the oath of technology and the WiFi people search for constantly everyday.
“They reflect humankind’s rich spiritual and cultural heritage and have great significance to the descendants of their creators and to contemporary societies,” read part of the statement.
“The Matopos represents an original nature, but it is nature which exists inseparably from human culture. These rocks embrace you; you see things you would never imagine or see otherwise. Birds, people, masks, trees, flowers and animals everything accepts you.”
The statement further stated that Zimbabwe has great valuable cultural assets and treasures that have been embraced and left to people by distant ancestors.
“Our painted rockworks recall past human beliefs, different modes of life, natural and social world. Very small country in size, but very big in terms of influence.”
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