Victor Nyakaura, Wallen Mapondera and Admire Kamudzengerere have taken Zimbabwean fine art to the world through sculpture and painting. The three artists between 2011 and 2012 secured arts Residencies at some of the leading arts and cultural institutions in America and Europe.
Victor Nyakauru and Wallen Mapondera were both accepted at the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation at the Vermont Studio Centre in America, each with an 8 week Residency based on the quality of their works. The Robert Sterling Clark Foundation Fellowships at the Vermont Studio Centre (VSC) were established to support the development of international artists and to broaden their opportunities for intercultural dialogue in the United States.
The Studio hosts 50 artists and writers each month who participate in 4 to 12 week independent studio Residencies.
VSC Residents represent a mix of mediums, cultures, experience, and ages, for a diverse and vibrant community. Artists are provided with opportunities for exchange and dialogue and a cultural trip to New York City where the artists spend a week with the Triangle Artists Workshop as part of VSC’s international creative community, visiting area studios, galleries and museums.
Victor recently returned from his residency and Wallen will be fulfilling his this February, departing from Zimbabwe on Saturday the 4th. Both artists received financial and capacity support from the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust. Victor’s Sculptures are part of the Culture Fund’s “Insect Garden”.
Victor Nyakauru’s Artworks in the Insect Garden
The Fund from time to allows artists to use its gardens and office space as exhibition space for showcasing works that would otherwise not be in gallery spaces, thus presenting an “out-of-gallery” space for showcasing their art works.
The Culture Fund congratulates painter Admire Kamudzengerere for being awarded a place at the Reijksakademie Studios in Amsterdam for 2012/13 Residency period. “The Reijksakademie Studios is a place for research and production for talented, professional artists from all over the world. There are fifty-five studios where, for a period of two years, resident artists can conduct research, experiment and work on projects and production.”
Admire Kamudzengerere late last year worked with another section of the Culture Fund’s out-of-gallery spaces, painting a mural on the Resource Centre outer wall. Admire is a frequently exhibited artist and took part in a series of Culture Fund supported workshops at Gallery Delta last year. The Culture Fund wishes him luck as he sets off to take up his Residency in the Netherlands.
Derek Huggins from Gallery Delta had this to say about the artist;‘Another painter to come to prominence in the decade was Admire Kamudzengerere. His career commenced with the ‘Young Artist’s’ exhibition of 2001 and he has exhibited consistently through the years. Small of stature and gentle of manner he can wield the big brush. His painting ‘Prostitution and Aids,’ a big work on paper depicting standing semi clad and nude males and females exhibited in the ‘Fight Aids, Celebrate Life’ exhibition of 2004 is memorable and was indicative of his future potential. Subsequently, he introduced the chessboard into his work as a platform on which to paint the game of life and death with chess pieces, figures, animals and birds. He draws on objects from the works of Cezanne and Dali, and figures from Goya and Munch. The creatures he uses are the cockerel, the crow, the goat, the hyena and the bull. His painting ‘The Scream at Manor Farm’ for ‘The Land’ exhibition of 2009, was inspired by George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ and Munch’s ‘The Scream’ and set in a Zimbabwean context is a powerful statement about the land. His successful use of the chessboard has influenced others to emulate his theme of the game relating to life. In his first solo exhibition ‘Variations in the Game’ in 2010 he showed a large, bold and colourful work of the same title, and another ‘Procession and the Clock,’ reflecting the grief of the loss of his infant son. Kamudzengerere is a significant painter whose future should be assured.’ extracted from an article ‘Contemporary Painting in Zimbabwe – The Last Decade 2000-2010.
An Appraisal from the Perspective of Gallery Delta by Derek Huggins. June 2011.
The Culture Fund envisions a thriving Zimbabwe that is confident in its innovation and creativity that is nurtured through a culture of open dialogue and creation of knowledge accessible to all its citizens. The Culture Fund plays a leading role in gearing the country towards becoming a creative society benefiting from a creative economy. It supports the cultural sphere through results-based programming.
Pictures by Olga Muhwati