BY TENDAI SAUTA
AWARD-WINNING Mutare-based visual artist Tatenda Gwarada says he seeks to teach the advantages of environmental preservation through his dried wooden artefacts.
Gwarada hogged the limelight after his artwork on environmental awareness stole the heart of a gallery curator of an exhibition at Mutare Gallery during the early 2000s.
The Highfield-born Gwarada, told NewsDay Life & Style that although his passion for art started at a tender age, he took it seriously to sustain himself and his siblings after he lost both parents.
“After creating several dead-wood sculpture pieces, my passion and creativity grew as I realised that my creativity easily connected with deadwood. I love my art because of its uniqueness,” he said.
“I love my wooden art as it is unique, the sculptures won’t be repeatable because logs cannot be broken or bent the same way. I create and give life to deadwood.”
Gwarada said he hoped for a flourishing art industry which catered for international markets.
“I think the art of stone and wood is our Zimbabwean culture and we have abundant and diverse talent for it which we can sell abroad easily. We appeal to our government for funding to help artists to market their artwork abroad through organising exhibitions and trade expos,” he said.
Gwarada, just like any other artists in this COVID-19 environment, bemoaned the effects of the pandemic.
“There is no market, so I end up selling my artefacts for less to the art dealers so that I can at least get money to feed my family. I wish to have a place to showcase my art and also to teach art in Mutare,” he said.
In Mutare, Gwarada said he collected dry wood from Himalaya Mountains that was left scattered following the devastating effects of Cyclone Eline which hit the eastern and southern parts of Zimbabwe in 2000.
His hard work and perseverance has seen him attracting both local and international customers.
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