The Bold and Beautiful

African culture and tradition informs our way of life and despite the introduction of organised religion, totems are still widely used as a means of character identification through our African  surnames.

This was the  inspiration behind the Bold and Beautiful paintings which wereworked on and completed earlier this year. It’s a series of work referencing the spiritual narrative of our ancestors ; particularly those of women and animals Keith’s signature ‘footprints’ signify the history of our forefathers and ancestors who left their mark on this earth.

Philip Ian Butler July 2022  

                            Imperceptible

This exhibition entitled ‘Imperceptible’ suggests slight differences. This is a collection of artworks created by gallery resident artists. This is a most interesting selection of art, which provokes considerable debate and discussion about life while at the same time celebrating the contrasting styles and techniques of art.

In this exhibition, artists have submitted art works that reflect and articulate the differences in styles, techniques and self-expression to motivate the sense of creativity.

Dumisani Ndlovu

                                     Roots

The theme incorporates artworks selected from the National Gallery’s permanent collection that are inspired by our cultural identity. Our culture, in this context, refers to the beliefs, norms, behaviours, and values that we live by. Therefore, artworks about cultural identity have been selected, and these explore both the intangible and tangible heritage as part of our culture. In this case, the exhibition aims to arouse the African enthusiasm in the audience, the feeling and sense of belonging as Africans.

Artworks such as, ‘my five wives’ represent a composition of women happily married to one husband, showing no sign of remorse. These are some of the traits we find to be customary within our culture. This promotes discourse whether to sympathize, question, or challenge some of these cultural practices in the contemporary era.

Chengetai Mkuka

                                   Transmuted Scapes

This exhibition marks the previous years’ COVID-19 peak that ravaged the landscapes. It was a time when people were confronted with numerous lockdowns and prolonged isolation in a bid to contain the virus that ravaged the land.

The exhibition Transmuted scapes features artworks from the permanent collection that appear to have been prophesied on the Covid 19 scenery. The painting, titled “Waiting Room” by Lamberth, shows people milling around in anticipation of the next move after the ‘wait’. The composition shows intense discussions, others throwing hands in the air as a sign of giving up, and others seeming unmoved by it all. Growing up in Zimbabwe’s city suburbs makes Dube’s composition a rare scene indeed; the emptiness of the streets is met with this unease.

Baron confirms the emptiness of the environment with the lone bench in a somber background of blues. Others turned to the spirit realm, as revealed in the painting by Bickle, giving hope to the hopeless. During the peak of Covid 19 no one dared touch plates or pots of the deceased, and we can sense this feeling from Reedo’s painting titled ‘for the birds’. These are reminiscing about situations that were met in homes and quarantine centres that transmuted once-populated places.

Doris T. Kamupira

                                    Live drawing

This is a collection of work from people who attended 5 weeks of classes at the NGZ BYO and generously funded by the Alliance Francais.  Some were experienced resident artists, some who are studying to become art teachers from the Teacher Training College, but we also had a few who were completely new to the experience (the Author Bryony Rheam of “Under The September Sun” fame wrote a blog post about it).  Using live models the work reflects a variety of styles and approaches showing a fine collection of both line and tonal work.  Some are short poses of a few minutes whilst others are more studied compositions of nearly an hour. 

Philip Ian Butler