Art exhibition registers success

Zimbabwean prolific arts curator Fisani Nkomo

FISHING a future from landfills, imagine Zimbabwean prolific arts curator Fisani Nkomo, leading award winning digital and multimedia content developer, Kudzai Chikomo, international and multiple award-winning painter, Owen Maseko and others have gone into the trash paradise to shop for resources that could be re-used as art material, all in an effort of add a voice that could alert possible lasting solution to the global impact of climate change.

Defying the social norm that climate change was a concern for farmers and environmentalist, Nkomo, also Fisani Community Action (FiCA) founder and principal curator at the newly established public for good arts oriented institution, opened a rare platform for further research and investigations contributing to an existing body of works and projects that earlier attempted to tone down effects of climate change.

Accord to snippets, climate change has to this day affected millions of people globally in the form of cyclones, droughts, and desertification among others.

Through an ongoing exhibition, which was launched at the National Arts Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) in Bulawayo on August 31 running up to September 26, titled "Black the New Green: Art and Climate Change Exhibition Rethinking the Future” the FiCA official said he was calling for everyone to act and protect the environment “now, without fail.”

“We partnered with various organisations and institutions such as Amagugu International Heritage Centre, Lupane State University, Lupane Veggies, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Green Zimbabwe, Green Hut, Good Deeds, Wezesha, Ukuna Environmental Trust, and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in programming side events to go with this exhibition in articulating and addressing issues around environmental climate change,” Nkomo said.

“There will be workshops for selected schools on recycling, public lectures on the future of food, spirituality and conservation, the role and importance of Art Education, discussions, and a conversation with the exhibiting artists.

“This exhibition addresses contemporary and topical issues of environmental degradation and climate change while challenging policymakers and people from all walks of life across all spectrums to act.”

Describing the art collection, at Black the New Green arts exhibition which received an overwhelming support, various corporate partners that include Sunny Stores, Greens Supermarkets, Econet Zimbabwe, David Sling and OMAM Hub among other sponsors, the versatile creative entrepreneurs-cum environmental advocate said all the pieces were like decorative jewel to a beautiful bride.  

“As a curator of Black the New Green: Art and Climate Change, I found it challenging to single out a favourite piece of art as their diversity in concept, form, scale, and presentation left me with no choice, but to love all of them independently,” Nkomo explained.

Posting a run-away success, punctuated with overwhelming turnout from both the corporate community and general public from first day of the group exhibition features sculpture, installation, video art and performance art by eleven contemporary artists, namely Angeline Mhuka, Arlington Muzondo, Danisile Ncube, Dumisani Ndlovu, Fisani Nkomo, Kudzai Chikomo, Mavis Ndlovu,Mercy Moyo, Oubrey Bango, Owen Maseko and Zandile Vanessa Masuku, Nkomo stated that the works displayed were made in a shortest possible time using found objects.

“These works of art presented here were created over a week-long production workshop held at Owen Maseko's residence.

“The works are mostly conceptual, in assemblage format, diverse in scale, form, choice of material and presentation. The materials used to create this body of work were picked up from dump sites around the city of Bulawayo including Ngozi Mine during a one-day fun-filled excursion in a 70’s Land Rover.

“Each material selected was creatively, intelligently, and meaningfully engaged to create works of art that provoke the mind around environmental issues and climate change in a unique manner that other forms of art, for example, music and other forms of communication would not,” He said.

Meanwhile, globally the environment is under threat from electronic waste, plastics, metal waste, and sound pollution and are all impacting negatively on the environment. These environmental hazards are harming animals, humans, vegetation and are also contributing to climate change.

Intelligently, "Black the New Green" is derived from the question, 'is black, the new green?' with black (carbon) representing all forms of pollution through human acts.

“We have become more carefree, more careless, and more selfish and continue to advance technologically to our detriment. Mother Earth speaks to us in her natural sense, alarms us, and warns us where we are going wrong. But as men, do we care to listen? This exhibition, action to raise public consciousness about the need to protect the world around us from environmental degradation,” said Nkomo.

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