#BreakTheBias, a showcase of women’s sensibilities

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Tarisayi Gweje

BY NYADZOMBE NYAMPENZA

BIAS against women can be the subject of choice as revealed by #BreakTheBias exhibition currently running at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) in Harare.

The exhibition conceptualised and organised by Mashonaland Irish Society president Ann Flanagan Tsapayi and NGZ deputy director and curator Fadzai Muchemwa, was officially opened by the Ambassador of Ireland to Zimbabwe, Fionnuala Gilsenan.

More female artists are featuring in the exhibition with their powerful and evocative artworks in sync with the theme centring on women.

Fashion designer Tarisayi Gweje’s Over My Shoulder, a black velvet gown with a metallic golden shawl made out of spoons, beer bottles, cassette tapes and door handles is also being showcased.

The shoulders are part of the human anatomy that bears the burden of responsibilities. Gweje’s selection of objects is symbolic and alludes to everyday experiences such as eating, drinking and entertainment.

The designer said the gilded spoons represented a slaving workforce whose labour enriched big business with profits that are enjoyed exclusively by the owner.

She told NewsDay Life & Style that her design as avant-garde art adding that it was a growing category with many practitioners in Zimbabwe.

Davina Jogi’s photographic series titled The Sanitation, takes the viewer back to old plumbing systems for flushing toilets.

It also suggests historical social engineering with a subtle subtext associated with ablutions.

Marjorie Wallace’s installation of different coloured ceramic bowls laid out at floor level shows openness and vulnerability, while waiting in anticipation to receive and perhaps gestate.

An embroidered piece titled Work Done by Women courtesy of Melania Chisango echoes Rose West’s The Vendors in showing women at work where they usually end up being pigeon holed and denied other opportunities in life.

Lin Barrie’s mixed media piece titled Winged Goddess of Victory proclaims the aspiration of many women while Xanthe Sommers sculpture titled Bad Girls Drink Sour Milk is a deliciously coloured white with red gourd fashioned out of glazed stoneware.

Akudzwe Chiwa and Tashinga Gondo present conceptual pieces with exciting possibilities in Doreen and Dream in Making 1,2,3 respectively.

The exhibition also hosts a school of abstract and semi-abstract works that include War Bird by the late Helen Lieros, Natasha Jobst’s Distance Evening Night, Phillipa Browne’s Lunar II and Chantel Morets’s Dans la Vile.

There are also outstanding figurative artworks such as Freedom by Vivienne Jedeikin, Pauline Battigelli’s Lucia, Noelle Bennett’s Typewriter and Lilian Magodi’s Hidden Scars.

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