Home » Arts & Culture » ’Local Sculptors Getting a Raw Deal’

Sculptor Rizimu Chiwawa believes that this arts genre is one sector of the creative industry that is suffering through the lack of local exposure and corporate support as well administrative neglect.

Chiwawa won the Outstanding Mixed Media Award at the just ended National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA). He urges those who are promoting their brands to go beyond musicians into other genres including sculpting to find brand ambassadors.

“There are many international brands in sculpture and the genre deserves to be celebrated as well,” he said.

Bernard Matemera, Sylvester Mubayi, Henry Mukarobgwa, Thomas Mukarobgwa, Henry Munyaradzi, Joram Mariga, Joseph Ndandarika, Bernard Takawira and his brother John are some of the sculptors that made names on the international scene.

He also believes that there are many pros and cons in the industry which need to be addressed.

He said that for sculptors a big plus would be to have the Copyright Act apply to all art disciplines.

“I can see that authorities are concerned with copyright in music only but we have a similar challenge as sculptors,” he said.

He said when one artist works over time to come up with a definitive piece, some copycats then quickly churn out mass replicas. “We don’t grow as artists because we will be doing one and the same thing,” he said.

Back in 2007 internationally famous sculptor Dominic Benhura filed a lawsuit against gallery owner Newman Chiadzwa for copyright violation.

In some interviews Benhura was quoted as saying the law is too general over the issue of copyright. “I took a few guys to court two years ago and I won the cases, but the fines are too minimal and at that time I received money equivalent to $10. The law is not so specific, it’s too general.”

Rizimu uses unusual material for his art.

While some have regarded it as an eyesore it has not been the same with Rizimu Chiwawa, who turns what most of us would classify as rubbish into outstanding pieces of art.

He mixes stone with bones and scrap metal to come up with his works of art.

Chiwawa said the respect he has for women has pushed him to highlight issues that affect them with gender based violence being a particular passion of his.

“Most of my artwork address issues that affect women. Women were created in a special way and they have to be respected,” he said.

For example in “Waiting for You” the artist depicts the hope and despair that women go through as part of their everyday lives.

“In that piece you can see that pillar with a woman resting on it waiting for her husband to come home,” he said. Born in Guruve, the sculptor did his primary and secondary in Mvurwi where he started his career as a painter.

For him painting did not meet the creative gap inside him. He turned back to his roots as he got his inspiration from his father and renowned sculptor Edward Chiwawa.

He joined the famed Tengenenge Arts Centre in Guruve before moving on to Chitungwiza Arts Centre in 2014. “A lot has come since I joined Chitungwiza Arts Centre including this recent award,” he said.

Chitungwiza Arts Centre has produced a number of artists that have bagged several awards.

Source : The Herald