Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011: A year in the arts

Another year has gone past. As we look back to see our failures and successes, try to solve the problems and add more to the good, we have to look into the future.

With a possibility of another recession coming our way next year, it makes life even more unpredictable. I found this interesting part of a discussion on Art Times where Mary Corrigall was asked whether a recession has  any positive role to play in the art world. She responds

“Recessions are never good for art-making, unless you are of the thinking that it somehow forces the art world to reconnect with its “soul”, the grander purpose of art rather than its commercial value thus ridding the art world of all the avaricious impostors that cling to it during the good times. Personally, I think this is unlikely to occur given how entrenched art is within circuits of commercial exchange. If anything there will be heightened awareness of its monetary value.”

The reconnecting with the “soul” part is quite interesting. It reminds me of a statement that Johans Borman wrote on the preface of the exhibition catalogue for Art that inspires which l quote “......all artists, past and present, who have the courage and conviction to start with a ‘blank canvas’ and bear their souls...’

2011 was a very challenging yet interesting year in the arts, with major highlights being the all important event in the art world, the Venice Biennale, which had three African countries taking part – South Africa, Egypt and Zimbabwe.

The FNB Joburg Art Fair, the Frieze Art Fair, the Rendezvous Focus Painting Exhibition at the NWU Gallery in Potchefstroom, two retrospective exhibition of Vladimir Tretchikoff 93 artworks and that of Peter Clark (who l had the privilege to shake hands with and have a brief chat with) at the Iziko National Gallery of South Africa were the major highlights of the year.

Colour Africa 2011, Munich, Germany

In the beginning of the year, my work was selected to be part of a group exhibition to be held in Munich Germany. The exhibition, which was opened in July, was titled 'Colour Africa 2011' and included 20 Zimbabwean artists who showcased contemporary paintings and graphics. The exhibition was organised and managed by Gallery Delta, the City of Harare and the City of Munich. To view images of this exhibition click here

 ‘At night we dream during the day we see’, Association for Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town

In August 2011, the association held a group exhibition of paintings by eight artist including myself. The exhibition ran under the title ‘At night we dream during the day we see’. According to Kirsty Cockrill, director and curator of the exhibition, the exhibition was linked to political surrealism. I had two paintings in the exhibition, which writer Veronica Wilkinson described of as being resonate of a style akin to Robert Hodgins.
The opening night of the exhibition

In the same month, l was elected to sit on the board of the Association for a period of two years. To give a brief background, the AVA is located in the heart of Cape Town and  is one of Cape Town’s oldest non-profit art galleries, showcasing contemporary South African art in all media.

AVA’s main priority and objective is the promotion and advancement of visual art and artists in South Africa, with particular emphasis on artists from the Western Cape, both established and emerging, formally trained and self-taught. It achieves its mandate in several ways by hosting exhibitions which change every four weeks and by providing funds to artists to buy art materials through it ArtReach Fund. For more information, visit their website at

In October, l took part in the exhibition ‘Persona’ at Johans Borman Fine Art. I was very honoured that my artwork, “The dog anatomy lesson”, was being shown next to great and internationally acclaimed South African masters. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

ZIMAGES Contemporary

The Zimbabwe German Society hosted a two-man exhibition of paintings, drawings and graphics by emerging visual artists Richard Mudariki and Mukudzei Muzondo on the 5th of April 2010. The exhibition, which was officially opened by the Cultural attache at the German Embassy, Petra Schimdt, included exciting artworks  art that are not only aesthetically appealing but that also catch the attention of the viewer. They also explored various and exciting techniques in an expressive manner, ideas media and themes.

The exhibition was a visual representation of each artist’s reflections of Zimbabwe’s past, present and hopes of the future. The artworks mirrored the society that the artists live in, reflecting through visual images, its aspirations, concerns, fears and hopes. An engagement and exploration of a variety of media and techniques in present in the artworks in this show. The two artists believe that creating art provides the greatest freedom of self expression. There are no boundaries or limitations. Artists are free to communicate their visions, dreams and interpretations. In their work, they overcome fear of ridicule and can be daring and foolish.

The exhibition ran for a week at the society.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hope and Despair

Hope & Despair - A Visual Narrative of Zimbabwe's Last Decade

Hope and Despair, a new exhibition at the National Gallery in Harare, features work from nine emerging artists and gives unique visual commentaries to and interpretations of Zimbabwean contemporary life, challenging you to rethink “the obvious.”

The nine artists are Calvin Chimutuwa, Muthabisi Pili, Tafadzwa Gwetai, Portia Zvavahera, Mercy Moyo, Richard Mudariki, Warren Mapondera, Zacharia Mukwira and Virginia Chihota.
The exhibition challenges the viewer to make new connections in the things and events that we know so well. In the past ten years the country has gone through “hope” and “despair” but the resilience by both artists and the Zimbabwean community can not go without comment. The exhibition presents a range of techniques, style and narrative that captures some of the challenges and joys we have gone through as a country.
Raphael Chikukwa, curator of The National Gallery of Zimbabwe said that the gallery was pleased to present this show and to give a platform to these emerging voices to shine.
“It is in our interest to show these amazing talents who are leaders in their fields dedicated to creative life despite the isolation. In short I can say great art and artists need endless attention and support. The selection of these artists was not limited to Harare alone but to Zimbabwe as a whole. My choice as a Curator also looked at the type of works between figurative and abstract, a choice that highlights bridging the gap between many art forms. Emerging artists like Virginia Chihota, Richard Mudariki, Tafadzwa Gwetai and Muthabisi Pili shows the direction of what Zimbabwean art would be in a few years to come. The show takes the audience into a journey through some of these works,” he said.
“It would be chick to think that this exhibition can represent all emerging Zimbabwean artists, but these are some of the emerging voices.”
Hope and Despair opens on January 27.