HomeLife & StyleChiwanga lives her childhood artistic dream

Chiwanga lives her childhood artistic dream

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BY KIMBERLY KARIATI

PERFORMANCE artist and photographer Nothando Chiwanga says she is living her childhood dream as an up-and-coming artist working from the National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe fighting against negativity towards her works.

Her expression of feelings and emotion together with her interpretation of living conditions of women in Zimbabwe tells a story of women evolving in the post-colonial society.

Brief profile

“I am an upcoming artist based in Harare who is a member of an arts group called Artofmufasa. I studied photography and performance at the National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Design.

“Art has been my childhood dream as I used to draw, cut out magazine pictures and mix them with different materials. I also participated in various art competitions at primary level and church.

“I had the privilege to study art and design at Queen Elizabeth Girls High School. I have participated in various workshops like the Realism by John Kotze, Art Ethics by Julius Mushambadope and Performance Art by Sithembile Msezane.

“I have worked with various artists like Tusichile Kasito, Nyasha Motsi and Tamary Kudita.

Reflection of the art

“My work reflects more on the issues of self-discovery and reinvention. Also, in the rapid metamorphosis of the ideas of womanhood in the post-colonial society, particularly in Harare.

“My work documents and explores perception, womanhood as a political position and change. I use myself as a medium of memory and fiction to reveal the complex world of young women in a changing society where traditional values are hanging by a thread and changing to become more relevant to the times.

Of photography and performing

“Photography and performance have a greater role in everyone’s life. They connect us to our past, places, feelings so that we can understand our  identity. I use myself as a medium of art by performing in action or series.

“Through photography and performance, I am free to express my emotions whether good or bad. It also expands my imagination and confidence. These two have enabled me to establish a relationship between an artist and the audience.

View on art value

“Art can change the thoughts of people and it has a greater impact of relieving stress and giving joy. It should be an appreciated programme in schools and society.

“It is important as it highlights the history behind the work and which originated the piece. Children should be encouraged to visit art places like the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.”

“More art camps and workshops illustrating the importance of art in society can reap fruitfulness in the industry.

Learnt lessons

“As an artist, I have learnt that art is a marathon, not a race. The route can be so long, it takes time to achieve what you want. I have realised I must keep going on and be proud of myself.”

“I also believe that being an artist means to be your own boss. Working with various artists in the industry has helped me to be who I am today. Never stop learning, intelligence is the foundation of great art.

Memorable exhibitions

“New Signatures exhibition at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Self On held by Post Art Studio, Note For Tomorrow, a travelling exhibition held In Haverford College in America, The Infallible Interior held at Sifang Art Museum in China as part of The World Press Photo 2021 Instagram story and Will Sun Rise and Shine Again Post COVID-19 at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe 2021.

Criticism

“Sometimes there are people who say I am now overdoing my practice such that I may end up being in the spiritual realm. However, the best, I don’t take seriously those critics who believe that art is a struggle for every human being.

Dreams

“I would like to branch into new forms of art and continue to embrace new techniques to upgrade my medium of photography and performance. I want to have a sincere mind to my practice so that I can be successful as an artist.

“I want to produce more work and that is more relevant to our continent, opening my own expressive art therapy centre with different art forms such as writing, dance, movement, painting, photography, drawing, sculpting and play.”

Follow Kimberly on Twitter @lizellekimkari

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