Deve reflects on Chinese tour through coil fish


CHITUNGWIZA Arts Centre’s Shepherd Deve’s  Love, Peace and Happiness monument is symbolic of his nostalgia over a peaceful and personal business one-year stay in China’s Hubie province, where he got to taste mouth-watering coil fish meals.

That unforgettable experience prompted him to engrave stone works celebrating coil fish as a souvenir to all his fond memories.

NewsDay Life & Style visited Deve at his Chitungwiza Arts Centre garden, which is a floral bush giving shade to leopards, penguins, hippos and coil fish sculptures he carved.

The coil fish figurine consists of cyclic daisy chains of kissing fish either in plain cycle and or spheroidal shape.

The statue is in a perfect balance while the highly-visible asymmetric posture and distribution is alarming. The constant motif on the scales is a demonstration of Deve’s kinship for an elaborate pronouncement.

“The coil fish are emblems of unity, peace, love and happiness reflected in the Chinese people’s day-to-day lifestyles characterised by a communism of refined cultural traditions and norms where no one is left in degraded conditions and poverty. Coil fish teach us to unite and live as strong families. They eat together and show affection through kissing,” said Deve.

A Wikipedia write-up says humans can adopt animal characters and personalities whereas animals never take human behaviour with them. One of the greatest human achievements is taming animals and resultantly people have animal totems and taboos.

The drive for wildlife preservation and prevention of cruelty to animals goes beyond fear of them being finite, but animals as supporting pillars to human life, which if not properly taken care of or monitored results in failure or stagnation.

Deve, who started his sculpturing career in 2008, said his stay in China was enlightening as he explored carving on several types of stones.

“China has a variety of stones and I managed to work on their green opal which is twice if not much harder than ours in Zimbabwe,” said the sculptor.

Deve added that it was exciting watching penguins on sea beaches.

Contrary to the leopard which can be a hermit, the penguins live in numbers although they hunt and eat as individuals.

“The female leopard is a dangerous predator and has good strength which enables it to take its prey up to the tree top where it can hide its prey for its young ones. Penguins live on both land and water and can walk.

“They swim in the sea to hunt fish and other underwater creatures,” said Deve.

His garden is a must-visit especially for inspirational drawing and photography artists. The mixture of creation, abstract and fine art in his imagination probes the mind to link nature and reality.

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