Visual artists lacking visibility: Kamudzengerere

Admire Kamudzengerere

INTERNATIONAL acclaimed visual artist Admire Kamudzengerere said creative spaces have been a challenge for many visual artists in the country.

And in an effort to give established and emerging artists platforms to showcase their talents, Kamudzengerere established Open House Studios and Animal Farm Studio in Chitungwiza.

Talk to NewsDay Life & Style during a tour of the studios, Kamudzengerere said he was determined to elevate visual art.

“Having taught at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare for six years, I got close to the artists and understood their challenges so much that I had to create these places (Open House Studios and Animal Farm Studio)”, did he declare.

Both creative spaces currently host the Trials and Tribulations (Rega Zvipore) exhibition featuring visual artists Clive Mukucha, Evans Tinashe Mutenga, Creative Sajeni and Tinotenda Chivinge.

The exhibit is part of the quartet’s Animal Farm Artist Residency program.

“I am impressed with the quality of the works exhibited by the artists,” he said, adding that a larger exhibition would soon be held in a central location.

Mutenga said the Trials and Tribulations (Rega Zvipore) residency was a response to concerns shared by young people on issues related to employment, family and relationships.

“My painting titled Cyclone Anna destroyed a lot of important things that are very difficult to restore,” he said, adding that he wondered why many cyclones were named after women.

“My other artwork on display is a selfie portrait painting which is a self-composed image of an individual’s own prophecy. The dark eyes show the absence of a blinking iris,” a- he declared.

“Divine power and lore are often at loggerheads, so the two men in the paper collage paintings are puzzles of prophetic visions and ideas of power, wisdom, and possession.”

Mukucha, inspired by Gareth Nyandoro and Masimba Hwati, said his artistry reflected the environment he came from and sought to creatively inspire people to think about so many things left behind.

“When I started my studies at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, I faced many challenges due to economic difficulties. I had a strong passion for painting, but due to lack of resources, I finally opted for found objects,” he said.

“My exhibited art is called Facility, and is heavily focused on ambiguity as it carries different meanings. At the center of all this creativity are labels of identity and a reflection of the lack of documentation, connectivity and identity across multiple aspects of life,” he said.

Mukucha added that the government should create more spaces for arts education and a separate ministry dedicated to arts and heritage to enable rapid responses to the demands and needs of artists.

Sajeni said that his painting work titled Maonero Akasiyana was a creation that encourages religious tolerance, relevant perceptions and influences.

Distinguished art professor at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare, Doris Kamupira, who graced the Rega Zvipore exhibition, said she was impressed with the quality of the artifacts on display.

“This artwork is very inspiring and I wish more viewers could come and see it,” she said.

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Briana R. Cross