We are putting together the works produced and donated by participants of the Pachipamwe International Artist Workshops around the country in particular the two held at Cyrene Mission. The exhibition will also feature the 4 works by British Artist Chris Ofili that where restored by Natasha Walker a restorer from Tate Modern and an Ofili expert 2011, through the facilitation and support by the British Council in Zimbabwe. The exhibition will also show works by Berry Bickle, Voti Thebe, Varian Edwards, Antonio E Costa, Japhet Funwayo, Rashid Jogee, Marvrvelous Mangena, George Nene, Stephen Williams, David Koloane, the late Bill Ainsle, Veryan Edwards and Hercules Viljoen among others.
Throughout the African continent, workshops are contributing to the generation of contemporary forms of the visual arts.’ This is particularly true in Zimbabwe, where collaborations and workshops continue to provide influential support for many artists. Understanding contemporary art provides an excellent foundation for the introduction of an alternative model: the Pachipamwe International Art Workshop. Pachipamwe (in Shona, “We come together again”) was initiated by artist Pat Pearce who after realising the unevenness of art in Zimbabwe after Independence. She worked with the founders of the Triangle International Workshops, Anthony Caro and Robert Loder and collaborated with a committee of Zimbabweans, including writer Diana Mitchell and sculptor Tapfuma Gutsa, to start the project.
The first Pachipamwe workshop was held at Murewa Culture House in 1988. The second Pachipamwe, underwritten by an array of sponsors, was held at the historic Cyrene Mission, south of Bulawayo, the following year and provided an inspiring setting for the workshop. The mission is a vanguard of modern art training located in the outskirts of Bulawayo in the Matobo District, home of the Matopo National Park with massive granite outcrops, many with wonderful prehistoric Bushmen paintings. The artistic legacy of Cyrene Secondary School is historically significant. It was here in 1939 that missionary Canon Paterson first introduced formal art education in painting and sculpture (including stone) young people in the region. His aim was to encourage a local visual interpretation of the Christian narrative.
The exhibition has inspired the need to revive the Pachipamwe workshop planned for September 2016
Ref: Pachipamwe II: The Avant Garde in Africa?
Author(s): Elsbeth Court PHOTO BERT HEMSTEEDE
Cliford Zulu Curator