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art is suppressed, then it means we cannot continue with art, or
life itself" - Interview with Danisile Ncube
with other Bulawayo creatives here
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Ncube is a Bulawayo visual artist, multi-media sculptor and artistic
photographer whose work has found its way all over the world since
the 1990s. His famous "Statue of Liberty" that took him
a year to complete can be found tucked away in one of Bulawayo's
leafy suburbs. He took some time off to talk about his work.
work is pretty diverse. Can you break it down for us?
I am into metal sculpture and use any material in mixed media sculpture.
I can work in stainless steel, mild steel, tyres, wood, water, anything
I can find around me. I do abstract painting as it really brings
out the freedom within me. I am also the only artist in Zimbabwe
who does contemporary metal masks. They are composed of mixed media
from found objects. I use any kind of scrap that I find; spanners,
scrap metal, stuff that people throw away. I do recycle a lot. I
do collages using photos on paper and conceptual art, which is what
I taught for six months in Durban.
inspires your work?
I am inspired by socio-political issues, things happening all over
the world, environmental issues even looking at the tsunami in Japan.
Disasters that are happening in our country, what I see around me,
like Operation Murambatsvina. I have done work on that.
issues of censorship ever been of concern to you?
My work has tended to portray sensitive issues but censorship has
never been my concern. Not because I look for trouble, I do not
look for trouble but most of the time people do not understand my
work. Art is a language that people must learn to understand whereby
things that are happening in a socio-political environment are given
their proper context. But artists generally cannot be stopped from
reflecting what is happening around them. If art is suppressed,
then it means we cannot continue with art or life itself. You cant
stop an artist or any human being from brining out information.
For example, when we look at Hitler's atrocities, how the world
got to know about these is from what can be found at Holocaust museums.
artists like you able to live off your work?
Sure. For the past two decades I can say that I have been living
off art and nothing else. Unfortunately because of the political
situation in the country over the last few years, tourists who have
appreciated our work, stopped coming into the country. We have unique
works and my own work can be found all over the world. Once the
doors open and people start coming in, artists can earn a living
because Zimbabwean art has a lot of people interested in it.
different is Bulawayo sculpture from Harare where big names have
emerged over the years? Does Bulawayo offer different inspiration?
Harare sculpture is known for its stone, but for us here in Bulawayo
we have used other media like steel, wood and other mixed media.
In Bulawayo you find a lot of metal scrap yards so it has been easy
for Bulawayo artists to collect metal for their work and use that
as their medium. The themes that Bulawayo artists depict are also
different, in that Bulawayo has its own unique stories.
Visit the Kubatana.net
Date: May 2011
File Type: MP3
as an artist
Date: May 2011
File Type: MP3
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