June 2018

This June at 75 on Josh

London based, Visiting Artist in Residence, Philip Butler will present a collection of work he did while resident at the gallery since  March 2018. It’s always fun to see these presentations or open days take place because it points us to a future of engagement and continuous networking with an extended networking base between the visiting artists.  On behalf of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe we deeply sincerely want to pass our heartfelt condolences to Philip who lost his mother while resident and had the courage to soldier on while mourning, so please help us to celebrate these two exhibitions realised through the residency.

In a statement, Philip says: Zimbabwe as a country is probably one of the most fascinating places to be right now. It’s currently undergoing political and social transition, so to live and work in Bulawayo where things are unfamiliar (and perhaps a little strange) has been both exciting and challenging. For an artist, I can’t think of a more interesting place to be!

The Residency programme has been instrumental in helping me to see work in a social and political context. Working in the studio has given me a chance to focus on problems in my own practice (the development of a creative and technical approach) coupled with thinking about my personal agendas (so I have a studio; what next?!). My contact with the many artists I’ve met here in Zimbabwe has been a source of inspiration and an opportunity to work with them in both formal and informal settings. Teaching life drawing and portraiture allowed me an opportunity to reflect on how art education compares and contrasts with my experiences from home, especially in the context of enquiry.

From someone who has collected sketches in personal travel journals, my time here has enabled me to explore the whole notion of work as a process of ‘exhibiting’, which has been interesting and not something that comes naturally to me. Facing Zimbabwe is a collection of my own work in progress but will also include works from other artists and poets that I’ve been collaborating with. I’ve relished this opportunity and appreciate the support I’ve received and hope this show reflects this.

For more details relating to the residency and how you can support, please contact the Curatorial department. Email c.zulu@nationalgallery.co.zw