Category Archives: News

Last 3 News appear on the homepage; other under Gallery News & Updates

The strange case of the missing elephant dung painting

Joyline with the fourth Ofili

Shortly before Christmas I received a call from Andrea Rose our Director of Visual Arts in London.  She had heard from Chris Ofili, the Turner prize winning artist, that he had left four of his famous elephant dung paintings at the National Gallery in Bulawayo over twenty years previously. Andrea wanted to know if I could find out whether they were still there.

In 1992, Ofili, then aged 23, won a British Council scholarship to attend the Pachipamwe International Artists’ Workshop. Pachipamwe means “where we are all together” in Shona.  The workshop was held at Cyrene Mission, an Anglican school with a strong artistic heritage just outside Bulawayo.

It was at this workshop, attended by leading Zimbabwean artists including Tapfuma Gutsa and Berry Bickle, that Ofili first used elephant dung in his painting; a practice for which he is now widely known.  At the end of his visit the artist left four paintings to the Pachipamwe organisation who gave them on permanent loan to the National Gallery in Bulawayoto add to their collection of contemporary art.

For Ofili, who was born in Manchester to Nigerian parents, this was his first visit to Africa and his time in Zimbabwe had a profound effect on his work.  In 1998 he won the Turner prize and last year one of his paintings reached a record price of ?1.9 million at Christies.

So where were the paintings?  An initial call to the gallery director initiated a search.  Voti Thebe the curator of the Bulawayo gallery who, as a young artist, had also attended Pachipamwe thought he remembered the paintings but didn’t know exactly where they were stored.  Maybe they were still at Cyrene?

A few weeks went by before we got the news.  Three of the paintings had been found in the cellar but the fourth was still missing.  The paintings were in urgent need of conservation and in January this year, British Council sponsored Natasha Walker a restorer from Tate Modern and an Ofili expert to travel out to Bulawayo to restore them.

The project was a great success and the three canvases are now back to their former glory and re-stretched on new frames which will last for many years to come.

We had just said goodbye to Natasha when the call came from Bulawayo.  The fourth painting had been found. Joyline the new conservator at the Bulawayo gallery who had been working with Natasha on the paintings refused to give up the search and three months after the start of the project she tracked down the fourth painting.  Jammed behind another canvass the piece had been previously overlooked.

The complete set of elephant dung paintings will now form the centrepiece to the exhibition ‘Remembering Pachipamwe’ which will celebrate the work of the original workshop participants.  The show is set to open at the National Gallery Bulawayo later this year.

By Jill Coates, Director British Council Zimbabwe

Press Realease

The Embassy of Spain in Harare, in collaboration with the Gabarron Foundation, presents an itinerant exhibition by Zimbabwean artists in art galleries in Zimbabwe, Spain and the U.S.A.

The Embassy of Spain in Zimbabwe, in collaboration with the Gabarron Foundation,  will present an exhibition of conceptualized paintings by ten top contemporary artists from Zimbabwe, entitled “The Spirit of Friendship: “Entre Dos Aguas/ Pakati Pemagungwa”, in honour of the late Ambassador of Spain Ms. Pilar Fuertes to mark her contribution to the promotion of art and culture in Zimbabwe . The itinerant exhibition will be shown in temporary art galleries of Zimbabwe (Harare and Bulawayo), Spain and the U.S.A.

 

The exhibition will run in Harare from 21st to 24th of June at the cosmopolitan 14th floor of Joina Centre (Corner Jason Moyo & Julius Nyerere) and thereafter will be sent to the National Gallery of Bulawayo (75 Main Street Leopold Takawira Avenue Bulawayo), where it will be exhibited from 28th June till 1st of July.

 

The opening in Harare will be on Thursday 21st of June at 6pm at Joina Centre and the opening in Bulawayo will be on 28th of June at 5.30 pm at the National Gallery of Bulawayo.  The visiting hours from Friday until Sunday will be from 10am to 5pm.

 

Cristobal Gabarron Foundation is an institution created in 1992 in Valladolid, Spain, and contributes, among other aspects, to the knowledge and promotion of art and culture in Spain and New York through art exhibitions, and offers specialised learning programmes and courses to international and talented students with a real interest in art. “Arte Africano” (“African Art”) is one of the collections in its museum, composed by a diversity of art from the most important cultures of Zaire, Angola, Gabon, Nigeria and Ivory Cost.

 

There has been a previous collaboration in 2011 between the Embassy of Spain and Cristobal Gabarron Foundation with a children’s drawing competition, which was won by Zimbabwean children. To mark the 20th Anniversary of the Gabarron Foundation, both institutions have launched this new initiative where more than 30 artists have submitted their works.

 

A Selection Committee, composed of art experts from Zimbabwe, Spain and New York, will evaluate and select the 10 artists who will then take part to spread the art and culture of Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe, the U.S.A. and Spain.

 

The paintings selected will be bought and donated by this Embassy to the Gabarron Foundation in Spain and will become part of its permanent collection where they will remain as a single collection and will be exhibited as a whole in future exhibitions. A catalogue of the exhibition will be also printed for distribution in Zimbabwe, New York and Spain.

 

Therefore, the Embassy is glad to invite all the friends of the late Ambassador Ms Pilar Fuertes and also those who are interested in Zimbabwean contemporary arts to the opening in Harare on Thursday 21st of June at 6pm at the Joina City. Those who live in Bulawayo are welcome to attend the opening on 28th of June at 5.30 pm at the National Gallery of Bulawayo.

Cliford Zulu, Assistant Curator. National Gallery in Bulawayo. 14 June 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

While We wait – En attendant



A photographic exhibition by Eric Gauss

also featuring an experimental video by Nigel Hullet

opening Thursday 10 May 2012 @1730hrs

While We wait is a collection of 25 photographs on canvas by French photographer Eric Gauss and his interpretation of the impact of human beings on the environment. The threat to the environment posed by human activity is one of the biggest challenges facing us today.
The title of the exhibition suggests that we tend to wait for something to happen, rather than as individuals taking some form of action. The exhibition aims to question the individual – where do you stand in relation to what is happening to our environment?

Curator

Bulawayo Conversations and Video Art workshop 9- 16 May 2012

  1. National Gallery in partnership with British Council, presents a workshop and conversations on Video Art to be held at the National Gallery in Bulawayo 75 Main Street Bulawayo. The facilitator, Berry Bickle belongs to the generation of Afri…can artists who emerged on the international art scene in the early 1990s.
    Those stirring years witnessed the development of theoretical discourses on post-colonialism, post-cold war, cross-cultural identities and globalization. That new geopolitical context generated the inclusion of a larger group of non-western artists in international art projects and offered a myriad of positions on the state of a changing world. Exploring issues of race, psychological violence, power, territory, history, memory and exile, Bickle raises questions about submission versus control, tradition versus modernity, and the local versus the global.

    N’Goné Fall

    Bulawayo project / in Bulawayo / discussions in plat forms of representation
    video image and i t s position in the post colonial discourse

    berrybickle@mac.com

    The workshop aims to broaden and develop video and short film skills amongst local artists. Providing participants with a space for conceptualization and experimentation. Inviting prominent Bulawayo artists my approach to the workshop will be to encourage the participating artists to explore and research identity in the cultural and social relations of Bulawayo both historical and contemporary in their own relationship to the City.

    If you are an artists/writer who is or can be in Bulawayo between 9 – May 2012, if you have accommodation, committed with good basic computer skills. Existing video editing skills and have own laptop and camera send an email to cliffzuluus@gmail.com,sabona@mweb.com call 09 70721

    include the following:
    Surname:
    First Name:
    Physical Address:
    Postal Address: E-mail address:
    Telephone (home):
    Telephone (cell):
    Indicate if you have a Laptop and camera?

    Limited Participation book early?See more

  1. National Gallery in partnership with British Council, presents a workshop and conversations on Video Art to be held at the National Gallery in Bulawayo 75 Main Street Bulawayo. The facilitator, Berry Bickle belongs to the generation of Afri…can artists who emerged on the international art scene in the early 1990s.
    Those stirring years witnessed the development of theoretical discourses on post-colonialism, post-cold war, cross-cultural identities and globalization. That new geopolitical context generated the inclusion of a larger group of non-western artists in international art projects and offered a myriad of positions on the state of a changing world. Exploring issues of race, psychological violence, power, territory, history, memory and exile, Bickle raises questions about submission versus control, tradition versus modernity, and the local versus the global.

    N’Goné Fall

    Bulawayo project / in Bulawayo / discussions in plat forms of representation
    video image and i t s position in the post colonial discourse

    berrybickle@mac.com

    The workshop aims to broaden and develop video and short film skills amongst local artists. Providing participants with a space for conceptualization and experimentation. Inviting prominent Bulawayo artists my approach to the workshop will be to encourage the participating artists to explore and research identity in the cultural and social relations of Bulawayo both historical and contemporary in their own relationship to the City.

    If you are an artists/writer who is or can be in Bulawayo between 9 – May 2012, if you have accommodation, committed with good basic computer skills. Existing video editing skills and have own laptop and camera send an email to cliffzuluus@gmail.com,sabona@mweb.com call 09 70721

    include the following:
    Surname:
    First Name:
    Physical Address:
    Postal Address: E-mail address:
    Telephone (home):
    Telephone (cell):
    Indicate if you have a Laptop and camera?

    Limited Participation book early?See more

Ze

Bulawayo Conversations, presents

Professor Catherine McDermott

Thursday 19 April 2012 @ 1430hrs

John Kinght Cinema

 

Professor, School of Communication Design, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture Kingstons University UK

Overview

Prof McDermott has made a major national and international contribution to the contemporary curating of design. She heads the School of Design Masters programme at Kingston University and is an advisory board member of New Design Magazine, the Design Journal and part of the Design Council’s Advisory Group Biennial.

She is the author or co-author of more than 11 books on such topics as the history of design, street style British Design in the 80s, the world’s leading product designers, furniture design and the work of British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. She describes one of her most influential books, “Made in Britain: tradition and style in contemporary British fashion” as a natural extension of her continuing research into the modern-day British fashion scene. As part of her research Prof McDermott interviewed such fashion design icons as Alexander McQueen, Julian MacDonald and Vivienne Westwood, in an attempt to understand how these designers approach specific activities and practices such as tailoring, fabric selection and use, branding and accessories.

She is a director of the Curating Contemporary Design Research Group and is chair of the university’s prestigious Stanley Picker Gallery.  Prof McDermott is also a member of the Design History Society, the Costume History Society, the National Art Collectors Fund and the Museums Association. She has worked as a consultant for, amongst others, the BBC Education Service, the Science Museum, the Design Museum, for the Victoria and Albert’s Twentieth Century Gallery Project and Granada Television (This Morning programme).  She has lectured around the world in her subject and curated a number of exhibitions (ranging in content from a celebration of the life and times of Diana, Princess of Wales, through to an exhibition for the French luxury goods company Hermes and an exhibition for the Design Council) as well as regularly writing for a number of design magazines and journals.

She is currently working on a number of projects in China. She has previoulsy won a Bristish Council competition and her project Dreamlab launched in September 2009 to over 20 Chinese universities.

Join us if you are in town for bookings please call 00263 9 70721 Email: sabona@mweb.co.zw,cliffzuluus@gmail.com

 

Photograph credit: Tim Hawkins.

 

Schools Holiday Programme at the gallery

 

The gallery has lined up a schools holiday programe that include exhibitions and a workshop beginning Saturday 31 March to end of May 2012. The first activity is an Exhibition titled “Endulo” this is an ethnology focusing on Matebelelend region capturing the traditional ornaments and collected by the Gallery between 1984 and 1995. The permanent collection includes various traditional stools, baskets, drums and mats. The second exhibition is titled “Ndebele proverbs” a collection of paintings illustrating various proverbs in two dimensional form with an English translation and meaning. The two exhibitions are targeting the “young” people taking a school break, and those members of the community that enjoy the creative work.
The other activities that the young Bulawayo Community can look forward to is Art Attack 2012 this is an exhibition of art works submitted by young people between the ages 10 to 19 years from different backgrounds with the aim of creating dialogue through the works of art. This years theme is “Seamless cultures of Matebeleland “so that at the end of the show we can celebrate the coming together the creativity by our young people across the divide in the region under one space. Pupils who wish to submit works for the Art Attack exhibition can do between 3 and 15 April 2012 the exhibition will open on 28 April at 2 pm.
Lastly a 5 day workshop facilitated by Brian Kumira of selected schools, still under the Art Attack exhibition will run from 11 to 14 April at the Lecture room under the same theme the art works produced from the workshop will also be exhibited together with the art works submitted by various young artists, on Saturday 26 April.

Denizens an exhibition by Resident Artists continues in The Marshall Baron Gallery until Mid April showing impromptu and experimental work for the first half of 2012.
We are calling to all the interested members of the society to visit the gallery and continue to dialogue about Art yekelani abantwana beze’ galari.

Cliford Zulu
Assistant Curator
Contact 70721/ 0772896508
30 March 2012

Updates

We would like to apologise for not updating this site for a while this was due to some technical challenges. You would be glad to know that effective 30 April updates will be done on  weekly bases. you can also follow us on Facebook. National-Gallery Bulawayo we look forward to your continued support and suggestions to keep the gallery through this site appealing to you.

Thank you Siyabonga