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When paint and ignorance meet
Chirinda, Kalabash, Magamba Network
December 21, 2012
canvas is ever smooth, the edges almost wet and the paint pronounces
If you look
at the paintings of Shelton Farai Chaumbezvi a certain fire lights
up a smile. The canvas on which the bright paintings dwell breathes
Chaumbezvi is an upcoming artist who began painting in 2006 while
in South Africa after having gone there in search of greener pastures.
Born and bred in Glen Norah, his art is inspired by nature and the
works of fellow local artists like Taska Kamatuwa. Chaumbezvi uses
the abstract, the cityscape and the landscape in his artworks because
he believes that we gain our existence from the environment around
In a street
exhibition in Glen Norah with colleagues, some failed to see the
meaning in the mannequin life that Chaumbezvi creates.
While in some countries works of art - like Leonardo da Vinci's
the Monalisa and Michalengelo's The Last Judgement -are cherished
as expressions of life, past and present, most Africans at the turn
of the century have not really found value in it.
with this notion and agreed that ‘tourists and foreigners
are appreciating local art more than the indigenous people.'
This has been compounded by the fact that art education is not mainstreamed
in the formal curricula, hence most Zimbabweans coming from government
schools have little acquaintance with art products. Chaumbezvi also
said that in primary schools children only learn to sketch using
crayons and have little experience with acrylic paint, oil paint
and PVA: materials essential to the creation of art.
While the industry
itself has been facing challenges Chaumbezvi believes there is hope
and he has shared experiences with artists like Steven Makoena and
Mzee. He has also rubbed shoulders with people like Petros Mwenga
and David Chinyama. He urged artists to work together despite the
various challenges faced when making visual art accessible to the
public. He argues that ‘sculpture and painting are one, they
deal with people.' He also encouraged artists to push on and
said ‘there is no junk in art.'
Much needs to
be done in funding, educating and providing a sphere for the artist.
In order to let paintings, sediments of the old and the new speak
to the people about their social and political life, the art of
people like Chaumbezvi should not be left to go to waste.
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