Home » Arts & Culture » Gallery Show Has Nurtured Greatness

Green Shoots exhibition of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare formerly ‘Final Year Students Exhibition’ has stood the test of time jump-starting the careers of majority of Zimbabwe’s well-established mid-career and maturesenior visual artists of various media other than stone, the country boasts of today.

Stretching as far back as the early 1980s just after country’s independence, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe’s art studios in the high-density suburb of Mbare in the Beatrice Cottages, formerly known as the BAT Visual arts studios because of the sponsorship by the British American Tobacco company up to the late 1990s, the show has made it imperative for majority of its participants to sign oath into the career of torrid times but yet mind freeing.

Such was the pedigree of the studios’ most hands-on teaching with unlimited materials of various media that made the young artists most comfortable and able to create with full understanding of their materials.

They produced unimaginable work that no one ever thought were from students and such qualities attracted the market to the studios let alone their exhibition at the prestigious National Gallery.

The show used to sell remarkably and more importantly motivated the young practitioners to seriously consider taking up professional careers as visual artists who will excel to the fullest and many did just that as well as experiencing the treacherousness of the terrain it is.

Today it is the National Gallery of Zimbabwe School of Visual Art and Design and the Green Shoots exhibition safeguarding the legacy of repute and their efforts are highly commendable.

The current Green Shoots show of the art school’s 2014 graduates that recently opened reveals exceptional talent that needs to be nurtured to achieve greatness.

Their minds are exploring and able to narrate their contemporary lives and the world around them.

Miriro Mwandiyambira’s painting on paper in acrylics titled ‘The Miniskirt Protest’ narrates the recent protest in Harare by some section of women who were demanding their freedom right to move about dressed whichever way they feel like especially in miniskirts.

The demonstration arose when a Harare lady was despicably harassed, molested and clothes ripped off by some commuter omnibus operators for allegedly dressing indecently.

This was aired on various media platforms including our national broadcasting radio stations and television and was condemned in every sense which led to the manhunt of the perpetrators.

The protest was full of unhappy women who dressed in very short skirts and other too revealing garments singing and performing erotic dances.

Miriro Mwandiyambira’s painting depicts supposedly three women of the protest portraying them from the waist down to the feet.

Her use of colour and technique is commendable and is still developing. This is the case with most of the pieces in the multi-media show that includes metal and stone sculpture, painting, print making, photography, digital illustration, mixed media to mention a few.

Some artworks of the exhibition include ‘Branching out’ and ‘I will Carry you’ by Mercy Nhauranwa, ‘Hope’ and ‘Jazz Band’ by Kudakwashe Dongo, ‘Welcome to corruption’ by Ephas Tunha, ‘Untitled’ painting by Tawanda Mufambi, ‘On stage’ by Gamuchirayi Kasanga, ‘Untitled’ woodcut print by Dereck Mapadze, ‘Still life’ by Edmore Gumbodete, ‘Assenting spirit’ by Trymore Sengai, ‘Aestetics’ by Tiller Maringa, ‘Drought’ by Phillip Machisa, ‘Fish’ by Tatenda Chikombe, ‘Sky Is the Limit’ by Tinotenda Mabasa, ‘Kumafuro’ by Anderson Nyabasa, ‘A Melting Feeling’ a digital illustration by Alfred Masunda, ‘Untitled’ mixed media painting by Naume Chaota, ‘Holly Water’ card print by Patience Chuma to highlight some.

With the exhibition the National Gallery continues to be the centre for contemporary art that seeks to develop the visual arts through nurturing talent and creativity.

Source : The Herald

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