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Master Sculptors of Zimbabwe

Master Sculptors of Zimbabwe

FRIENDS FOREVER - Master Sculptors of Zimbabwe

Contemporary Art from Africa at the ART CENTER BERLIN

The works of the master sculptors hab been exhibited in various places like Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Milan, Moscow, Barcelona, New York, Vienna, Oslo, Helsinki and other metropolis where they enthused the visitors. At the ART CENTER BERLIN the master sculptors show a permanent exhibition where their works are purchasable for art lovers.

The stone sculptures of the master sculptors are called ?living stones? at Zimbabwe. They surprise by their power of expression, their uniqueness and often by their humor.

This kind of art was developed during the past 50 years. It was made possible by the awaking of the self-awareness of the Zimbabweans, by their traditional values, by the rocks of the Great Dyke at Zimbabwe and by the support of Tom Bloemfield in Tengenenge and by Frank McEwen, director of the National Gallery of Arts at Zimbabwe. Bernard Matemera, Henry Munyaradzi and Fanizani Akuda, who are represented at the Musée Rodin at Paris, at the MOMA at New York and at the Museum für Weltkulturen at Frankfurt am Main, took first steps to make this art famous. The sculptures are pieces of art that should be known worldwide but thanks to the isolation of the country the sculptures are still an insider tip among some few connoisseurs.

The representatives attending at the opening, the ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe, her Excellency Mrs. Lucia Muvingi, the ambassador of the republic of Mozambique, his Excellency Carlo Dos Santos as well as the deputy ambassador of the republic of Angola Mr. Guido Castelbranco pointed out in their inaugural speeches the economic and the cultural impact of the two organization's work.

With the exposure of the sculpture "Protection From A Storm" (Lawrence Mukomberanwa) by her Excellency Mrs. Lucia Muvingi and the curator, Mr. Sune Jorgensen from Friends Forever the exhibition was open to numerous visitors who appeared for inspection.
The success of the exhibition showed up already to this evening.

Fanizani Akuda (1st generation, *1932)

Fanizani Akuda is noted for his smiling faces, whistling men and happy families. His characters are tender and humorous, constantly smiling, with mysteriously slit eyes. They are often formed in pairs or groups. Fanizani's pieces are distinguished by their arrangements of round shapes. His work has been exhibited worldwide, in countries such as Germany, Denmark, Holland, the United States, Sweden, Cuba, Australia, South Africa, Malawi and Zimbabwe and Spain.

Lawrence Mukomberanwa (2nd Generation, *1976)

Nicholas Mukomberanwa took great care in providing his sons and daughters with education so they would be able to create a life for themselves, not being dependent on his art or being artists themselves.

So, Lawrence went to primary school and secondary school and took his A-levels. And then he trained as a professional pilot for two years. Creating sculptures as well alongside his father.
He worked as a commercial pilot for some years, for tourists at Victoria Falls and later flying large aircrafts such as Boeing 707?s.
In 2002, when his father died in November, he took the decision to become a full time sculptor.

His brother Anderson who was himself a great artist, died in February 2003 and now Lawrence faced a "cross-road".
At his fairly young age he decided to take up sculpting full time and at the same time provide for his large family.

In his relatively short career he has already participated in many exhibitions, both in Zimbabwe and abroad. Latest as resident artist at the exhibition "Master Sculptors of Zimbabwe and their Works" in Barcelona, Spain

Mike (Mekias) Munyaradzi (2nd Generation, *1967)

Mike Munyaradzi was born at Tengenenge in Guruve, Zimbabwe on the 1st of February 1967. After finishing his secondary education in Zengeza - at the same time being an apprentice of his father, the late Henry Munyaradzi, he enrolled at Manchester Metropolitan University in U.K. and graduated with a degree in Computer Software Engineering in 1995. He graduated with a Commercial Pilot Licence from Guthrie Aviation in 1996.

In 1998 after the death of his father, Mike Munyaradzi took sculpting more seriously than before. It was the most difficult time for he had to deal with his father's death and also continue sculpting in his own new style different from his father's.

In 2002 he decided to be a full time sculptor and resigned from the national airline. Ever since the resignation Mike Munyaradzi has grown from strength to strength in the world of Zimbabwean stone sculpture. He has travelled to many countries conducting workshops. He has also participated in a number of group exhibitions world wide.

Edward Chiwawa (1st Generation, *1935)

Edward Chiwawa was born in the Guruve district of Zimbabwe in 1935. He began sculpting in 1970 in Guruve, form here he brought his sculptures to The Artist Community Tengenge to be exhibited and sold from there.

Edward Chiwawa lives in the workers' suburb of Chitungwiza, 10 miles south of the Zimbabwe capital Harare. Close to Fanizani Akuda. He was awarded first prize at an exhibiton in 1986 in Budapest Hungary. Edward Chiwawa has a very close relationship with the Munyaradzi family.

Colleen Madamombe (2nd Generation, 1964-2009)

Colleen Madamombe was born in 1964 and has achieved an extraordinary level of success for a woman sculptor in Zimbabwe, traditionally a male dominated art form. Her work deals with the role of women in Zimbabwean society, often addressing the changing role of the woman in modern African life. Her trademark female figures are known the world over. Colleen is very much aware of her role as a woman sculptor of renown, and keeps up challenging other young female artists to pursue a career like her own. As she says in an interview in July, 2004: 'I ask of you women to work as sculptors as well as the men. But I know it is difficult, if you are married. Most men do not want their wives to be sculptors in their own right. I myself was married, and my husband was a sculptor himself, but now I am divorced, providing for my 7 children. But it is all right.' Her sculptures, which are always depicting proud African women, speaks directly to everybody, not least women in the rural areas of Zimbabwe, who immediately identify themselves with them, thus creating a direct link between great art and people of the countryside of Zimbabwe.

Enos Gunja (1st Generation, *1949)

Enos Gunja was born in 1949 in Guruve, where he still lives.
Early in his life he discovered his talent for sculpting and joined the Tengenenge Sculptors' Community in 1967. He says his ideas come from his imagination and dreams. "The figure is taken out of the stone where it lies like a figure wrapped in a blanket. It is not seen by anyone, like a figure in a pool, until it is taken out starting from the top of the head until the feet are revealed."

His sculptures are often grotesque with bulging eyes and beaklike mouths, maybe with the nose missing or divided into horns. Or like the armless sculpture called "Where are my arms?" Other sculptures are serene and natural with soft rounded out curved elements.

In 1982 he left sculpting to work as a hospital cook in Guruve, a position he still holds. However he still sculpts, whenever he can find the time for it.

Wonder Luke (2nd Generation)

Wonder Luke lives near Tengenenge and works from there creating his fantastic heads of Chinese queens, somebody holding his or her head in the hand, and so on. His art is of the type where you explore the same subject matter again and again, and always in a new strong way- faces and heads expressing themselves in a very outspoken style, which captures your imagination.