BY TENDAI SAUTA
INTERNATIONALLY-acclaimed visual artist Admire Kamudzengerere has said creative spaces have been a challenge for many visual artists in the country.
And in an endeavour to give both established and up-and-coming artists platforms to showcase their talents, Kamudzengerere established Open House Studios and the Animal Farm Studio in Chitungwiza.
Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style during a tour of the studios, Kamudzengerere said he was determined to uplift visual art.
“Having taught at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare for six years, I got closer to artists and came to understand their challenges such that I had to set up these places (Open House Studios and the Animal Farm Studio),” he said.
The two creative spaces are currently hosting the Trials and Tribulations (Rega Zvipore) exhibition featuring visual artists Clive Mukucha, Evans Tinashe Mutenga, Creative Sajeni and Tinotenda Chivinge.
The exhibition is part of the quartet’s Animal Farm Artist Residency programme.
“I am impressed by the quality of artworks being exhibited by the artists,” he said, adding that a bigger exhibition would be held soon at a central venue.
Mutenga said the Trials and Tribulations (Rega Zvipore) residency was a response to shared concerns by youths on issues surrounding employment, family and relationships.
“My painting titled Cyclone Anna destroyed many important things which are very difficult to restore,” he said, adding that he wondered why many cyclones had been named after women.
“My other artwork on exhibition is a selfie portrait painting which is a self-composed image of an individual’s own prophecy. The dark eyes show absence of iris which makes one blink,” he said.
“Divine power and traditions are often at loggerheads, so the two men in the paper collage paintings are brain teasers of visions and prophetic insights on power, wisdom and possession.”
The Gareth Nyandoro and Masimba Hwati-inspired Mukucha said his artistry was a reflection of the environment he came from and sought to creatively prod people to think about so many things left behind.
“When I started my studies at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, I faced a lot of challenges due to economic hardships. I had a strong passion for painting, but due to lack of resources I eventually opted for found objects,” he said.
“My art on exhibition is called Installation, and is heavily centred on ambiguity because it carries different meanings. Central to all this creativity are identity tags and a reflection of documentation deficiency, connectivity and identity on several aspects of life,” he said.
Mukucha added that government should create more spaces for art education and a separate ministry dedicated to arts and heritage to allow quick responses to artists’ demands and needs.
Sajeni said his painting artwork titled Maonero Akasiyana was a creation that encourages religious tolerance, perceptions and relevant influences.
Prominent art teacher at National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare, Doris Kamupira, who graced the Rega Zvipore exhibition, said she was impressed by the quality of artifacts showcased.
“This artwork is highly inspirational and I wish more audiences could come and see this,” she said.
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