BY KIMBERLY KARIATI
VISUAL artist Vimbai Chimanikire says her art advocates for positivity, encouraging women to be confident in their various body structures.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Chimanikire said her art was meant to demystify the notion that nudity is sexuality, but a natural state.
“My art speaks of how women should be comfortable in their skin no matter how slender or fat they may be because that is who they really are.
“I mainly focus on the female body because that is the one l am familiar with,” she said.
“It is very easy for me to draw the feminine curves and body parts, but I have realised there is more to just bodies.
“Quite often women have been made to feel ashamed of having all sorts of body types and shapes, but women should embrace how they look.”
The self-taught artist said nudity should not be sexualised as it reduced women to sexual entities and for this reason many have fallen prey to body shaming and sexual abuse.
“Nudity is often sexualised and that is wrong. It does not have to be related to sex.
“From the start, nudity, particularly the female body has been objectified.
“We have been made to feel ashamed of having all sorts of body types and shapes,” she said.
“At some point women were taught to be ashamed of their own anatomy. This has led to the pardoning of crimes like sexual assault, notably rape.”
Chimanikire, who started taking art seriously in 2017, bemoaned lack of appreciation of the art despite that it deals with sensitive issues in society.
“I only did exhibitions in 2018 at AfriRemedy Performance Art Theatre (Zimbabwe) and UmottoArts (Zambia) which were an eye-opener.
“People feel that art is taken as luxury, forgetting that artists tell stories that are part of our everyday life,” she said.
Chimanikire said rising artists should be exposed to more workshops to ensure the growth of their careers.
“I have not discovered and tapped into the art market for up- and-coming artists in Zimbabwe. We could use more art centres for people to display their work because you find out that the ones that are there right now are super selective,” she said.
“Most big art galleries work with artists that are already renowned. The only time your work is showcased by a popular gallery is when you have made it, which is not fair.
“There is little or no room for up-and-coming artists to grow.
“There should be more galleries for artists and art spaces for people to exhibit their work.”
- Follow Kimberly on Twitter @lizellekimkari