Loneliness stirs Chiriseri into sculpting

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BY TATENDA KUNAKA
CHIHOTA-BASED rising sculptor Tatenda Chiriseri (27) says he ventured into art as an experiment due to loneliness, but now art has become more than just a passion.

The self-taught sculptor told NewsDay Life & Style that he found comfort in art due to its therapeutic nature.

“Growing up, I used to spend most of my time alone herding cattle. It is during those lonely days that I decided to experiment with tree branches,” he said.

“I started to do sculptures that represent my totem before expanding to almost everything. When I am down, I take my tools and work.”

Chiriseri said he was facing financial challenges to purchase proper tools.

“I have no proper tools required by a professional sculptor. I improvise using knives and nails to come up with my designs, this is a major setback,” he said.

“I am struggling to get funds to buy even varnish to give my carvings an attractive finish,” he said, adding that living in rural Chihota was advantageous to him.

“No one really understands the importance and value of what I do. I am the only one who knows that this art can change my fortunes, when almost everyone in my village views it as a way of whiling away time.”

Chiriseri said his dream was to carve images of celebrities and other prominent figures.

“My wish is for my talent to support my survival. I desire to export my artifacts for an international exhibition that will have a positive impact on the global market,” he said.

“Currently, I am just producing pieces and I have not yet pocketed anything from what I do.”

Chiriseri gets the material for his sculptures from ordinary trees that some people use as firewood.

“I prefer working with hard wood trees, which do not break easily, but allow me to shape them into anything I desire,” he said.

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