Gallery holds auction to support women initiatives

Nhaka Gallery in Harare is running an online art auction of paintings from the Women, Power & Mobility exhibition, which is currently on display until June 16.

Nhaka Gallery in Harare is running an online art auction of paintings from the Women, Power & Mobility exhibition, which is currently on display until June 16. The gallery selected 12 of the best pieces from a collection of 60 artworks that are part of the women empowering exhibition themed Women, Power & Mobility: Putting Women In The Driver’s Seat, which was inaugurated on March 10 to coincide with International Women’s Day celebrations.

The auction started in the first week of May and will conclude on June 16.

According to a statement from the gallery, interested individuals can place their bids on the gallery’s website, which is Bids for the selected artworks start at US$300. Additionally, bidders can also view the exhibition on the website.

The auction proceeds will cover the exhibition as well as go to the contributing artists and rural women facing mobility challenges through the Mobility for Africa Trust, which supports research that builds the evidence base behind the creation of E-mobility solutions. The organisation also provides subsidies to women in rural communities.

The winners will be announced at the launch of the Young Artist exhibition at the gallery on June 24.

Coordinator Amelia Wilson, who is responsible for communications and research at Mobility for Africa, told IndependentXtra that the exhibition aims at reframing the traditional image of a woman walking with a child on her back and a heavy load on her head and is intended to stimulate a rethink of the day-to-day experiences of most rural women with a gender lens perspective.

“Through the exhibition, we want to draw attention to the often-ignored issue of lack of transportation for rural women. Art is so important for advocacy and disrupts the visual image which provokes certain narratives. The rural sub-Saharan African woman carrying something on her head and a baby on her back has been normalised, we wanted to disrupt that image with that of a woman physically in the driver’s seat,” Wilson said.

The paintings are the works by Lovemore Kambudzi, Richard Witikani, Nothando Chiwanga, Lilian Magodi, Yandani Mlilo, Keith Zenda and Webster Mubayireni. The artworks were inspired by the collective stories of how mobility impacts the lives, hopes and aspirations of a community of rural women from Hwedza, in eastern Zimbabwe, who are beneficiaries of an initiative led by Mobility for Africa Trust.

Many of the displayed paintings depict a Hamba, a tricycle used by rural women in Hwedza for tasks such as fetching water, firewood and transportation.

Statistics show that women make up at least half of the rural population and often constitute 60% to 70% of those working in agriculture. Rural women in Zimbabwe face the burden of spending hours of their day carrying heavy loads and walking long distances to sustain their family needs.

Nhaka Gallery Trust is a not-for-profit that seeks to nurture a new generation of artists in Zimbabwe. It provides for young artists to develop their skills and be creative. It was established to continue the legacy of the Delta Gallery, a foundation established by Derrick Huggins and Helen Lieros in 1965 to help promote contemporary art in Zimbabwe.

 The auction is the collaborative effort of Nhaka Gallery and Mobility Africa with support from the Swiss and Australian embassies, as well as unwomen.

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