Home » Arts & Culture » Visual Arts and Design’s Bright Spark [interview]

The National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Design caters for all races and classes of people. It also enrols students with all kinds of disabilities. Below is an interview conducted by the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) with one of its disabled students, Naume Chaota.

When did you start pursuing art?

I started art in primary school. I always made sure that I had something that I was working on. I did drawings in primary school, and my father after seeing my work helped to get me enrolled at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe School of Visual Arts and Design (NGSVAD) in 2002 for the Saturday art classes. After a while, I left the NGSVAD Saturday Art classes and started attending lectures at the Peter Birch School of Art. I then stopped getting art tuition and stayed at home.

In 2014, I became serious and went back to the NGSVAD where I am currently a second year student.

Why did you choose art as an area of study?

I want to be a source of inspiration to other people who think that if you are disabled you cannot do anything. I want to show the world that even though I am disabled, I am a valuable asset to the nation and do not want people to pity me. I also have always had passion for art and I knew I had the talent so I joined the NGSVAD to further my education and to improve my skills.

What type of artworks do you do and why?

I do painting, a bit of photography but mostly print making. I love the texture which comes out when one does printing.

How do you do your work?

I use my feet. I draw, type, dress and paint using my toes.

Have you ever won any award or exhibited anywhere?

I have won awards like the Highly Recommended Award in 2012 at the NGZ. I also have two attendance certificates from the NGZ and Peter Birch School of Art.

I exhibited at the Special School Festival in 2014 and the Green Shoots at the NGZ in 2015.

What challenges do you face as a disabled student?

From the outside world, people look at me differently, as if I am not a person like them. They take time to accept me and the way I am and I have realised some avoid even talking to me.

People think that I am vulnerable and always want to help me in whatever I will be doing, but I do not need that.

I am an independent girl and can do all things on my own. I have never faced such challenges at the NGSVAD. The students and the teachers have seen that I am a human being just like them and can perform duties like drawing and painting just like any normal human being.

What are you plans after leaving the NGSVAD?

I plan to be the best artist in the whole wide world and to master my artworks to be the best. I want people to buy my artworks not because they pity me, but because they will be the best artworks.

What message can you tell to the young people who want to join the art industry?

Art is about having fun whilst experimenting with a lot of materials. If you do not have passion for it, you won’t enjoy it.

Art also requires a lot of hard work so as to achieve goals thus in order to be successful, one needs to be passionate and to work hard.

Source : The Herald