“When words fail, art speaks.”
MaDzimbahwe is a group exhibition “traversing generations, gender and media to encapsulate Zimbabwe’s artistic offering at this prestigious platform: Expo Dubai 2020”, as stated by Curator Raphael Chikukwa. Most of the presented works were created in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, as such, these works are rife with different viewpoints, speaking to the embodiment of principles of creativity, social consciousness and critical engagement that have manifested in these trying times. Each artist, coming from different backgrounds and generations, serves as archivists of both public and private memories enabling the viewer to capture different realities and identity issues.
This exhibition speaks to multiple moments of revelation as much as it does to the larger quest for fulfillment and wholeness for being African. Furthermore, this concept resonates at the level of everyday life through the eyes of this group of artists. Their approach to their works brings something different to Dubai and the Arab Region.
Admire Kamudzengerere was born in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1981, where he still currently lives and works. Admire’s work explores identity, politics, and society, often informed by the multifaceted structural and social issues that have marked Zimbabwe’s last decade. Working in various media, he frequently reveals an unequal world in which the powerful ride roughshod over the weak.
Nothando Chiwanga was born in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1997, and lives and works in Harare, Zimbabwe. She studied at the National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Design and is currently an artist in residence at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. Nothando Chiwanga work is deeply influenced by personal experiences while reflecting on womanhood. She addresses themes such as education, food, bereavement, home tools and traditions. She uses her body as a medium of memory and fiction to reveal the complex world of young womanhood in a changing society where traditional values are hanging by a thread and changing to become more relevant to the times.
Danisile Ncube was born in July 1970in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He studied art at Mzilikazi Art and Craft Centre in Bulawayo. During his career he has worked with well-known artists and photographers such as Zinyange Antony. Art has always been a tool for the artist to record the history and times we are living in, so he employs it to express how he feels and he looks at socio-political and environmental issues and brings them into his photographic work.
Prudence Chimutuwah is a visual artist born in 1989 in Harare, Zimbabwe. She trained at National Gallery Visual Art School between 2009 and 2011 and started painting full time in 2014. She currently resides and works in Harare, Zimbabwe from her private studio and mainly works with mixed media on canvas. Her work is inspired and informed by women’s everyday activities; family obligations, marital compulsions, religious desires, economic aspirations, political perceptions and personal values. As a woman she hopes to communicate rational and righteous notions through her work.
A product of dual heritage, Tamary Kudita was born in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1994, whilst her ancestry can be traced back to Orange Free State, a historical Boer state in Southern Africa. Her investigation looking at the legacy of colonialism on the family structure has resulted in exhibitions delving into the history of the Post-colonial identity.
Tusichile Kasito is a young, vibrant and award-winning artist. He was born in 2001 in Harare, Zimbabwe, where he currently lives and works. He studied at the National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Design, where he volunteered for guided tours. He works mainly with photography, design and painting. He get inspired by nature and he aims to raise awareness about environmental issues, as a matter of fact, he usually creates fashion through nature and finds ways of turning pollution into beauty. His goal, as he claims, is to inspire people to look more carefully at the world around us and how our decisions affect us.
Isaac Choloka was born in 1979 in Chegutu, Zimbabwe. Choloka is regarded as one of the finest stone artists in Zimbabwe and his sculptures are among the most collectable in the country today. Choloka wants to represent human feelings and especially love. As he says “Love is something that everybody can relate to and comes in ways that we can easily overlook in our daily lives. So, I try to find the meaning of love in our daily lives and make it into artwork.”
Josiah Manzi was born on the 11th November 1933 in Mvurwi, Zimbabwe. Manzi is one of the last surviving First Generation artists of Zimbabwean sculpture. Completely self taught, Manzi creates unnatural and surreal overtones inspired by spirituality, deeply rooted in Yao culture.
Doris Kamupira was born in Mutoko and currently based in Harare, Zimbabwe. Doris is a visual artist with an Honours degree in Fine Art from Chinhoyi University of Science and Technology. She studied at the National Gallery School of Visual Art and Design. Doris believes that an artwork is never finished, but rather a means paving way for eventual creative solutions making the unique artwork undoubtedly possess dynamic qualities.