Bulawayo Conversations. Art form, medium & technique: The artistic journey of self-discovery

November 2019

The conversations will feature Danisile Ncube, Shamilla Aasha and Owen Maseko, moderated by Visiting Artist in Residence Philip Butler.

Brief Bios of the panelists

Danisile Ncube: Art has been my way of life since 1989 up till now I have been working tirelessly to find myself, my way of doing things obviously my Art work. My works mainly are in metals and found objects. I have an unerring eye for form and balance, and this assures the technical grasp of my materials and enables me to precisely control my subtle details in a wide variety of circumstances.

In other sculptural and wall pieces I confront the growing global problems of environmental degradation, life in general and sociopolitical issues.

I carefully select the materials that most accurately reflect my subject matter. And using those rough materials, I create forms and volumes with a quiet strength, a classic beauty that lends gravity to my message. l am open to experiments, installations and conceptual work.

The freedom of expression has always been the drive as it has helped me to bring what I capture in the world to the people especially those who have no voice and become the voice of the voiceless. As a tool art, has been journalism as to record the history and times we are living in and express just how I feel and then bring it in reality, artistically.

Shamilla Aasha: Born in Hwange Zimbabwe, Shamilla was raised and educated in Bulawayo ,eventually obtaining a Diploma in Textile Design from the Bulawayo school of Art and Design in 2000.She participated in numerous workshops and exhibitions both locally and internationally.

She is an art educationist with 12 years’ experience .Although now; out of the formal education system she continues nurturing creativity through her Asha Childrens’ Trust – a hub for young creatives.

After a sabbatical from professional painting Shamilla has emerged in 2018 with a mature body of work whose narrative is influenced by issues of identity, merging cultures and issues facing women in her society.

Shamilla has traditionally been a mixed media painter but has included textiles, which she regards as a fitting metaphor for her narratives, which she expands using sewing patterns, and stitching. Her highly calligraphic painting style allows her to create new patterns from the old and with each layer added creates a palmistory language. This has provided a foundation and informs her textile art a new path in her art process.

Owen Maseko is a Zimbabwean visual and installation artist who specialises in paintings, pottery, ceramic sculptures, music and publishing books. In 2011, he was named by Time magazine as one of the world’s 10 most persecuted artists. Owen was arrested in 2010 less than a day after his exhibition opened at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo – the exhibition Sibathontisele (Let’s Drip On Them) referred to the massacres of Ndebele civilians during the Gukurahundi carried out by forces loyal to Robert Mugabe in the 1980s. Owen was charged with undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe and with causing offence to persons of a particular race or religion. The Mugabe regime later changed the charges to a more serious offence of falsifying information to incite public violence, carrying a possible twenty-year prison sentence. The case was taken to the Supreme Court, who decided to drop charges in 2015. However, the Supreme Court permanently banned the exhibition from being shown anywhere in Zimbabwe. The exhibition has since been shown in South Africa and Kenya.

Owen has over the years,  participated in local and international exhibitions and won prestigious awards – freedom to create international award in Egypt, ZimRights artists of the year award(Zimbabwe) and Good Governance  award ( Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe).